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A Vietnamese man has been fined R300 000 for the illegal possession of five rhino horns worth an estimated R6.8 million in Asia, it was reported on Wednesday.
Kwang That Thung, 25, who was supposedly in South Africa to learn English, was arrested at OR Tambo International Airport shortly before he was to have boarded a flight to Vietnam on April 22, Beeld reported.
The horns, which weighed more than 13kg, were found concealed in plastic lion masks in his suitcase.
Thung claimed a Vietnamese man approached him in a shopping centre in Hatfield, Pretoria, and offered to pay for a flight home to visit his family.
A few days later, the man met him at the airport and gave him a suitcase and R26 000, which he asked him to take it to Vietnam.
Colonel Johannes Vermeulen, of the police’s forensic division, said four of the five horns had been poached, and that the fifth had probably been taken from a mounted trophy.
Thung was fined by the Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.