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Police were pursuing a Vietnamese poacher in Mozambique, after he was found with nine rhino horns at the country’s main airport and tried to flee, a police spokesman said Tuesday. Orlando Mudumane, the spokesman, said the Vietnamese national, whose name was not revealed, was trying to leave Mozambique for Cambodia. He ran away from the Maputo airport on Sunday.
“We are still working to capture him and if he tries to leave the country he will be arrested,” Mudumane said.
He said the government believes the horns are from the country.
Large numbers of rhinos are being killed by poachers in the country’s national parks and game reserves. A week ago, the government announced the extinction of the rhinos at the Limpopo Transfrontier Park, in the southern province of Gaza.
Poachers, both local and South Africans, are accused of killing rhinos and elephants. Most of the tusks and horns are smuggled to Vietnam, according to the Maputo administration. At the Niassa Game Reserve, the authorities say that the poachers are also finishing elephants introduced into the park from South Africa a few years ago.
The authorities accuse Tanzanians, Malawians and poachers from the Great Lakes countries of being responsible for the killings. Last month, a Vietnamese was arrested at Maputo airport in possession of twenty seven rhino horns.