British woman arrested in Spain over theft of rhino horns at museum

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A 37-year-old Briton has been arrested in Spain for allegedly taking part in the theft of rhinoceros horns from a museum in Germany.

The Daily Telegraph reports that the woman, who was not named, is held on suspicion of taking part in what police described as an 'unbelievably audacious' heist of rhino horns to sell on for use in traditional Chinese medicine.

She was arrested on the island of Tenerife on a European arrest warrant and handed over to authorities in Germany where she is now in custody, police said.

According to Expatica.com, the woman is suspected of being part of a gang that stole rhino horns worth 50,000 euros from a museum in Offenburg, southwest Germany in February.

Police said two people distracted staff at the museum while another two climbed on the display case, removed the rhino head from a wall and smashed off the horns with hammers.

Earlier this year, two other British members of the gang were arrested and sentenced to three years and two and half years in a German prison.

The other gang member was sentenced to four weeks in a juvenile detention centre for his part in the theft.

In Asia, rhinoceros horn is used for its aphrodisiac and disease-fighting properties. The horns can fetch between £20,000 and £160,000 depending on their size.

Similar heists have occurred throughout Europe with some museums resorting to replacing their rhino horns with fake ones to deter robberies.

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