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Rhinoceros Horn Smuggling Ring Busted By Federal Wildlife Investigators

02/23/12 01:39 AM ET AP

In this file photo provided on Friday Feb. 10, 2012 by World Press Photo, the 1st prize Nature Stories category of the 2012 World Press Photo contest by Brent Stirton, South Africa, Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic magazine shows "Rhino Wars." (File, AP Photo/Brent Stirton)

LOS ANGELES -- Federal wildlife investigators say they've broken up an international smuggling ring that trafficked in sawed-off rhinoceros horns for buyers in Vietnam and China who believe they cure cancer.

Three of the alleged traffickers caught in Southern California were 49-year-old Jimmy Kha, his 41-year-old girlfriend Mai Nguyen and Kha's 26-year-old son Felix.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe says officials have shut down a major source of black market rhino horns in the lucrative international trade.

Officials also seized more than $1 million in cash, $1 million in gold bars, diamonds, Rolex watches and 20 rhino horns in the raids.

There was no immediate reply to an email request to the agency for comment.



Filed by Jade Walker  |