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Customs officers detain Russian with saiga horns worth $623.000

13 November 2019 16:07

WEST-KAZAKHSTAN REGION. KAZINFORM - A citizen of the Russian Federation was trying to transport saiga horns worth over KZT242 million from Kazakhstan to Russia, Kazinform reports with the reference to the press service of the Kazakh National Security Committee.

Today at the Aksay checkpoint customs officers has searched a «Renault» vehicle, which was traveling from the Republic of Kazakhstan to the Russian Federation, and found freshly sawn saiga horns in the amount of 128 pieces (29 kg). According to preliminary estimate the cost of the horns is KZT242.4 million of USD623.000.

The citizen of the Russian Federation, aged 36, was detained and transferred to the Burlinsky Police Dept.

NOTE: The Saiga antelope is a large migratory herbivore of Central Asia found in Kazakhstan, Mongolia, the Russian Federation, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

The saiga population drastic decline happened because of poaching. As saiga horns are highly valued in traditional medicine the illegal trade became more widespread due to the hard economic conditions and impoverishment of the local human population and weaker control after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

The IUCN Red Book assesses the saiga as critically endangered and CITES includes this species in its Appendix II.