Hong Kong International Airport customs officers have arrested a traveller from South Africa for alleged possession of 8kg of suspected rhino horn.
The total market value of the illegal contraband was estimated at $1.63m, according to the Hong Kong government website.
The suspected rhino horns were found inside his check-in baggage. He was also wearing a contraband ivory bracelet. According to reports, the 37-year-old man had flown from Cape Town to Johannesburg and then to Hong Kong.
Under the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance, any person found guilty of importing or exporting an endangered species without a licence is liable to a maximum fine of $5m and imprisonment for two years.
The latest case highlights a significant surge in rhino horn smuggling since South Africa lifted a domestic moratorium on rhino horn trade in April. Several shipments have been intercepted at Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport, Hong Kong International Airport, and Hanoi Airport in Vietnam.