The Zimbabwean court refuses to drop the indictment of 7 Chinese caught with rhinoceros horns

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Seven Chinese people arrested on Thursday in Zimbabwe for money laundering and illegal rhinoceros possession lost their legal offer to drop their charges.

They were arrested on December 23, with more than 20 kg of rhinoceros horn pieces worth nearly one million US dollars.

A judge in the northern spa town of Hwange rejected an application by the seven unemployed Chinese citizens to exclude the charges.

Her lawyer had argued that the prosecution had not proved that a case had to be answered.

The seven were brought to trial on 19 March.

At one point, police posted the rhino horn in a mattress, plastic bags, and boxes in a house in the nearby town of Victoria Falls.

Rhino horns are in great demand in some Asian countries, such as China and Vietnam, where they have claimed up to $ 60,000 per kilo for their alleged medicinal properties.

The demand has led to a boom in poaching and human trafficking in Africa.

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