12:19 Wednesday 10 July 2013

Irish man faces extradition for alleged rhino horn theft

John Quilligan was held under a European arrest warrant

A Limerick man will find out today if he is going to be sent to Austria where he is accused of stealing valuable rhino horns. John Quilligan of Roches Road in Rathkeale was arrested in Dublin on foot of a European arrest warrant.

With 1 kilo of a mature rhino horn fetching around €50,000 on the black market the trade is now considered more lucrative than the drug trade. 31-year-old Quilligan is accused of stealing €300,000 worth of rhino horn from a museum and an antique dealer in Vienna.

Following an extensive police investigation a European warrant was issued for his arrest and the Austrian Authorities asked for the help of the gardaí in finding him.

Quilligan proved tough to track down because he was constantly moving around Europe but it is believed he came home for Christmas and was arrested at a checkpoint in Swords in January.

A decision on whether to send the Limerick man to face charges in Austria will be made when his extradition hearing comes before the courts later.

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