In Zimbabwe seven Chinese nationals appeared in court on Thursday, in the tourist town of Victoria Falls. They were arrested two days before Christmas with pieces of rhinoceros horn worth a million dollars.
The seven Chinese nationals are accused of violating Zimbabwe’s wildlife laws. The inspectors found the pieces of rhinoceros horns hidden in a mattress, in plastic bags and in boxes at their homes.
Their trial, scheduled to begin yesterday, was postponed until 9 January at the request of prosecutors. One of the prosecutors, Bheki Tshabalala, said they “preferred to add money laundering charges in this case,” saying it is “also about car theft”.
Zimbabwe’s parks and wildlife laws prohibit the possession or sale of products from protected animals. Rhinoceros horns are trafficked to several Asian countries, including China and Vietnam, where traditional medicine gives them all sorts of virtues, including healing cancer.