South Africa is undoubtedly the epicentre of the global rhino war, with more than 1 000 of these giant horned beasts slaughtered here in the past four years.
Yet organised crime syndicates are also scouring almost every corner of the world for stocks of this increasingly scarce commodity.
Their hunger for horns seems to know no bounds.
Any horn – old, new or poisoned – is being snapped up in an unprecedented buying spree at a time when the black-market horn price now equals or exceeds that of gold or cocaine.
In what is known as “Operation Crash”, one of the biggest fish netted so far is Jin Zhao Feng, a Chinese national arrested at Los Angeles international airport after allegedly supervising the illegal shipment of dozens of rhino horns from the US to China.
The name of the undercover operation is taken from “crash”, the collective noun for a group of rhinos.