Europol has uncovered an Irish-led organized crime group illegally involved in rhino horn tracking and selling. They described them as being “Irish and ethnically Irish.”
Rhino horns, depending on the size, can fetch between 25,000 to 200,000 euros, and they’re especially targeted for Chinese medicinal use in their powdered form. Not surprisingly, Europol found that the trading ring extended as far as Asia.
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The horns are also desired for their decorative beauty and as an ingredient for some luxury goods. To find them, the group of smugglers, who Europol believes were “known to use intimidation and violence,” targeted “antique dealers, auction houses, art galleries, museums, private collections and zoos, ‘resorting to theft and aggravated burglary where necessary,’ reported BBC.
This isn’t the first time that this group has been targeted for illegal doings. BBC claims that , “the same group was also involved in other serious crime across the EU such as drug-trafficking, organised robbery, distribution of counterfeit products and money-laundering.” Their activities have stretched from the Americas to South Africa to China and to Australia.