Federal wildlife officials have reportedly taken three locals into custody as part of a multi-state crackdown on an alleged rhino horn smuggling ring.
Jimmy Kha, 49; his girlfriend Mai Nguyen, 41; and his 26-year-old son Felix were arrested over the weekend, the Los Angeles Times reported. Kha, who runs an import-export business in Westminster, faces four counts of rhino horn trafficking. As do his girlfriend and son.
"By taking out this ring of rhino horn traffickers, we have shut down a major source of black market horn and dealt a serious blow to rhino horn smuggling both in the U.S. and globally," U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe told the newspaper.
Investigators reportedly seized a total of 20 rhino horns, more than $1 million in cash, $1 million in gold bars, diamonds and Rolex watches during the raids, the Associated Press reported.
In some Asian countries, rhino horns are believed to have medical benefits, including fighting cancer. The rhino horns seized as part of the raids were reportedly destined for buyers in Vietnam and China.