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Malaysia Seized Over $3 Million in Rhino Horns

Pound for pound, rhino horns have a higher street value than gold.

Malaysian customs officials seized a shipment of 18 rhinoceros horns that originated in Mozambique. The shipment is valued at around $3.1 million USD. The horns are highly coveted in Asia as ingredients in herbal remedies.

The horns were discovered this past Friday inside a cargo warehouse at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Hidden inside of wooden crates was 51 kilograms of illegal rhino horns. The horns originated in Mozambique, but went through Doha, in Qatar, before reaching what is thought to be their final destination: Malaysia.

The wooden crates were declared as carrying "objects of art." The U.N. have place a global ban on all rhino horn trade because of their vulnerable or endangered status.

"The address of the consignee and the agent of the recipient didn't exist. All the documentation used for the shipment were false," airport customs director Hamzah Sundang told Reuters.

This is the sixth case of rhino horn seizure in Southeast Asia since March 8. About a total of 235 kilograms illegal rhino horns have been seized throughout Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand, and Myanmar in a string of illegal animal trading busts.

Demand for rhinoceros horns haven been driven the popularity of homeopathic remedies that require the endangered animal's horn as a main ingredient. Some of these highly price remedies claim they can cure cancer and hangovers. The popularity has pushed the street value of rhino horns to heights of $100,000 USD per-kilogram.