Antiques dealer sentenced in NYC federal court for smuggling objects made of rhino horns

NEW YORK, N.Y. – An antiques dealer has been sentenced in New York to two years in prison for smuggling objects made of rhinoceros horns from the U.S. to China.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara says Linxun Liao was sentenced Thursday for trafficking rhino-horn libation cups worth $1 million.

The 35-year-old Liao is a Chinese citizen who lives in Canada.

He was arrested in February as part of a crackdown on trafficking objects made of rhinoceros horns. He pleaded guilty to two counts related to the smuggling.

Prosecutors say Liao purchased the libation cups from U.S. auction houses and smuggled them into China without required permits.

Trade in rhinoceros products has been regulated under an international treaty since 1976.

Liao was also ordered to serve two years of supervised release and to forfeit $1 million.