Conservationists place the blame for the spike in rhino poaching squarely at the feet of Vietnamese gangsters.
TAIPEI, Taiwan, and HANOI, Vietnam — What's a Vietnamese gangster to do when the last indigenous rhino has been shot?
With no more product to fuel a lucrative rhino-horn market — driven by cash-rich partygoers, who mix it with booze, and terminal cancer patients banking on a miracle cure — they'd have to venture further afield.
First stop, according to UK-based wildlife monitor TRAFFIC, is South Africa, where they'd encounter rhinos on state-licensed safaris.
When South African authorities became suspicious of a surge in Vietnamese ‘pseudo-hunters,’ gangsters changed gears by sending other Asian nationalities — including Thai hookers — to get the job done.
“When regulations limited the number of hunters, one of the gangs started using sex workers for additional names to put on permits.
But of course they didn’t know how to shoot, so there were cases when the professionals taking them out would actually do the shooting for them,” TRAFFIC spokesman Richard Thomas told GlobalPost....