Thieves looting European musuems for rhino horns to sell to wealthy superstitious jerks
It might have seemed like a bizarre, anomalous incident, the act of someone with a perverse rhino fetish. But similar thefts, as many as 30 so far this year, have been reported in museums, galleries, antiques dealerships, auction houses and homes across Europe as criminals try to feed a growing demand in China and other Asian countries, where medicine made from ground rhino horns is believed to act as an aphrodisiac and to cure cancer and other diseases.
“I was quite surprised, I must admit,” said Ian Lawson, a detective in the art and antiques unit at the Metropolitan Police Service in London, describing his first realization that rhino-horn theft had become a serious law-enforcement issue. “It’s taken a bit of time for everyone to wake up to the fact that this is a cross-Europe offense, and that they will attack anywhere that has a rhino horn.”
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