The Mozambican police announced on 19 February the arrest of a Mozambican citizen in Mandimba district, in the northern province of Niassa, who was attempting to sell considerable quantities of rhinoceros horn to a Chinese buyer.
Yet somehow it was only the Mozambican who was detained, and the Chinese citizen escaped. The police were unable to explain the circumstances of his escape.
The Mozambican was in possession of eight rhino horns, weighing about 20 kilos. In Vietnam or China, that quantity of horn could sell for about 1.3 million US dollars.
It is not clear whether the horns came from animals poached in Mozambique or elsewhere in southern Africa.
Figures from the Mozambican and South African authorities, published by the daily paper O Pais show that South African forces have killed 279 Mozambicans involved in the illegal hunting of rhinoceros, since 2008. A further 300 Mozambicans were detained for rhino poaching between 2008 and the end of 2012.