News / Africa

S. Africa Sentences Rhino Horn Trader to 40 Years

Rhinos with cut horns walk at a farm in Musina, Limpopo province, South Africa, May 9, 2012.
Rhinos with cut horns walk at a farm in Musina, Limpopo province, South Africa, May 9, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
A South African court has sentenced a Thai national to 40 years in prison for circumventing a ban on the export of rhino horns.

Chumlong Lemtongthai had pleaded guilty to organizing bogus trophy hunts to obtain rhino horns for sale on the international black market.

Thai national Chumlong Lemtongthai attends hearing at a South African court, Nov. 7, 2012. Click to enlargeThai national Chumlong Lemtongthai attends hearing at a South African court, Nov. 7, 2012. Click to enlarge
x
Thai national Chumlong Lemtongthai attends hearing at a South African court, Nov. 7, 2012. Click to enlarge
Thai national Chumlong Lemtongthai attends hearing at a South African court, Nov. 7, 2012. Click to enlarge
The sentence handed down in Johannesburg Friday is the harshest ever given for a wildlife crime in South Africa.

However, the World Wildlife Fund says it is concerned that charges against  Lemtongthai's co-defendants -- three South Africans and two Asian nationals -- were withdrawn without explanation.

The WWF says the move does not send a "strong message" regarding South Africa's attitude to the involvement of its own citizens in rhino crimes.

Jo Shaw, the WWF's South Africa Rhino Coordinator, said it is important that people involved in rhino crimes receive sentences that match the severity of their actions to form "an effective deterrent to others."

Officials say a record 528 rhinos have been killed in South Africa this year.  Demand for rhino horns has soared in Asia, where they are widely believed to have medicinal qualities, despite evidence to the contrary.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Trevor Fox
November 09, 2012 1:38 PM
Apparently a licence to hunt one Rhino in South Africa can be issued, so what sense does it make to allow this to continue. Surely no Rhino hunting should be permitted. It would be interesting to know what the cost a Rhino permit is. Selling the horn in the Far East, one could easily make an immense profit.
The Game Farms that permit this hunting must be making a profit along with the Government Department issuing the licence to hunt Rhino. A survey of licences granted should be
printed. mmmm could be revealing.

In Response

by: nubwaxer from: usa
November 11, 2012 11:30 AM
mr fox, i found the answer on the first listed google search result:
CITES The Southern White Rhino is allowed to be hunted as a trophy in South Africa, importation of these trophies is allowed into USA and Europe. Trophies hunted in South Africa only require a CITES export permit.
White Rhino – Trophy Hunting: $ 55 000 – $ 150 000
White Rhino – Green Hunt: $ 8000
White Rhino License Fee: $ 1000
Black Rhino – Trophy Hunting: $ 250 000 – $ 350 000
Black Rhino – Green Hunt: $ 20 000
Black Rhino License Fee: $ 1000
there's a warning at that site that it's a hunting site therefore the images may be disturbing, especially to someone like me who believes the rhino to be a generally docile beast and far more valuable as a tourism asset in the country where it lives.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid