Chinese national Hsu Hsien Lung was sentenced to six years imprisonment on Wednesday by the Germiston Regional Court for possession of two rhino horns, police said.
Lung was found in possession of the horns in Bedfordview, Johannesburg on May 21 this year. He was charged with possession without a permit, Col McIntosh Polela said.
“The horns’ weight was 9.8 kilograms. In the past, people convicted of such cases used to receive fines. A jail sentence sends a strong message to other would-be offenders.”
Polela said the police welcomed the sentence because the country’s rhino population was under pressure and the animals were being targeted by crime syndicates.
“If the criminals who are decimating these animals are not stopped, the country could lose this part of its heritage forever,” Polela said.