Feds crack down on rhino horn smuggling ring

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AP

Posted on February 23, 2012 at 2:23 AM

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 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.

The Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/w5x5no ) says more than 150 federal agents led raids into homes and businesses in a dozen states over the weekend.

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.

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