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20 rhino horns seized in smuggling raid, plus gold bars, diamonds

February 23, 2012 |  8:22 am

Stuffed rhino seized

The Fish and Wildlife Service has seized more than $1 million in cash, $1 million in gold bars, diamonds and Rolex watches, along with 20 rhino horns, in raids on an alleged  international smuggling ring that trafficked for years in sawed-off rhinoceros horns.

Much of that was found at Jimmy Kha's import-export business in Westminster, in his safety-deposit boxes and at his Garden Grove home, according to law enforcement officials.

More than 150 federal agents and other local enforcement officers raided homes and businesses and made several arrests in a dozen states over the weekend, including three alleged traffickers in Southern California.

Kha, 49, his girlfriend, Mai Nguyen, 41, of Highland, and Kha's son Felix, 26, each face four counts of rhino horn trafficking in violation of federal laws protecting rare and endangered species.

The father and son both remain in jail since their arrests last week at Los Angeles International Airport. Nguyen, who owns a nail shop in Highland, is set to be released on $50,000 bail. Their attorneys declined comment.

-- Kenneth R. Weiss

Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife officers seized this stuffed rhinoceros head, with artificial horns, in a raid at Win Lee Corp. in Westminster. Credit: Katie Falkenberg / For The Times