The South African authorities had expelled a diplomat from North Korea, which was suspected of illegal trade of Rhino horns, according to news resource News24.com. According to him, the diplomat named Park Chul Jeong was exiled from South Africa on 11 December.
The representative of the foreign Ministry of the Republic of South Africa Nelson Khote confirmed to journalists the fact of the expulsion of the North Korean diplomat, without specifying his name. According to him, the Embassy of the DPRK in the Republic of South Africa had notified the foreign Ministry that sent the employee of the Embassy of the DPRK returned to North Korea.
According to News24.com, Park Chul Chung was arrested in Mozambique on 3 may this year. In his car they found the Rhino horn with a total weight of 4.5 kg and about 100 thousand dollars in cash. The car had diplomatic license plates and belonged to the North Korean Embassy in Pretoria.
Together with Park Chul Jeong was arrested another man – 54-year-old North Korean athlete, Taekwondo master Kim Jong su. According to News24.com he takes an active part in the work of the African Taekwondo Federation in Pretoria.
Both detainees were subsequently released on bail of 30 thousand dollars. According to South Korean Agency Yonhap, soon after they returned to South Africa. However, on 8 December, the authorities demanded that Park Chul Chong to leave the country within 30 days. He was accused of abuse of diplomatic immunity and illegal use of diplomatic pouches. According to News24.com, Park Chul Chung worked in the Embassy political counselor.
This is not the first such incident in recent years. In just nine years, four North Korean diplomats were accused of trafficking in Rhino horns in South Africa. According to the Agency UPI, the horns are transported for sale in China selling on the black market as supposedly having healing properties.
This year poachers have killed more than a thousand rhinos in South Africa. Since 2008, killed at least 4600 individuals, which is 17 times higher than the number of killed rhinos for the previous 27 years, the site notes.
Trading in the horns of rhinos are not the only illegal activity in which he was convicted of diplomats. Earlier this year, another North Korean diplomat has been detained at attempt of illegal transportation of 25 kg of gold worth nearly one million dollars from Singapore to Bangladesh. Also the diplomats and the Embassy of the DPRK was involved in drug trafficking, arms and cigarette smuggling, and money laundering and spreading counterfeit dollars, reports News24.com.