Father and Son Plead Guilty in International Rhino Horn Smuggling Ring

By Allan Lengel

Peddling rhino horns is big business. It’s also illegal.

The LA Times reports a father and son who were masterminds of an international rhinoceros horn smuggling ring pleaded guilty in a Los Angeles federal court Friday to illegal wildlife trafficking, money laundering and tax evasion.

The pleas were part of a nationwide crackdown on the trade of the rhino horns to Asia. The Times reports that Vinh Chuong “Jimmy” Kha, 49, and son Felix Kha, 26, have been jailed since their homes and import-export business were raided in February, the paper reported.

“It is unconscionable that a species as ancient and majestic as the African Black Rhino has been hunted to the brink of extinction by unscrupulous profiteers,” said U.S. Attorney André Birotte Jr. in a press release. “The rhino horn smuggling ring dismantled by Operation Crash contributed to the soaring increase in the trade of rhino horns both domestically and internationally and this illegal trade leads directly to increased poaching of the species in the wild. Operation Crash represents a giant step forward in the global fight to save a beautiful species like the Black Rhino from extinction.”

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