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Rhino Horn Trade: Thai Officials Catch Smuggler In Bangkok Airport

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Seized rhino horns are shown with alleged Vietnam smuggler Pham Quang Loc, 56, behind left, during a news conference at Suvarnabhumi international airport in Bangkok, Thailand, Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013. Thai Customs officials seized more than half a million US dollars worth of rhino horn hidden inside a souvenir hippo and arrested passenger Pham Quang Loc at the airport earlier Sunday, on arrival in Thailand from Ethiopia. (AP Phoro/Apichart Weerawong)
Seized rhino horns are shown with alleged Vietnam smuggler Pham Quang Loc, 56, behind left, during a news conference at Suvarnabhumi international airport in Bangkok, Thailand, Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013. Thai Customs officials seized more than half a million US dollars worth of rhino horn hidden inside a souvenir hippo and arrested passenger Pham Quang Loc at the airport earlier Sunday, on arrival in Thailand from Ethiopia. (AP Phoro/Apichart Weerawong)

BANGKOK — Thai authorities have seized more than $500,000 worth of rhino horn from passenger's luggage at a Bangkok airport.

Thai Customs officer Khanit Isdul said Sunday that officials acting on a tip-off found four rhino horns in the passenger's luggage at Suvarnabhumi International Airport.

Officials arrested Phan Quangloc, a 56-year-old Vietnamese passenger who arrived with the case from Ethiopia on Sunday. He is expected to face a jail term in Thailand if convicted of smuggling.

Officials estimated the value of the confiscated horns, cut into 6 sections, at 18 million baht ($586,000).

Asia is the main market for smuggled rhino horn, as some people believe it can cure diseases. Trade in rhino parts is banned under international agreements.

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