THE Bhutanese princess caught trying to smuggle 22 rhinoceros horns into Taiwan looks certain to go to jail. The maximum sentence of one year's imprisonment has been recommended by the prosecutor, Hung Kuang-hsuen, for Princess Dekiy Wangchuck for violating Taiwan's wildlife protection laws. ''Because she has pleaded guilty, I think she will get seven or eight months,'' Mr Hung said. ''She knew the laws of our country and is very well educated. There is no excuse.'' The horns, along with nine bear galls, were found during a routine luggage check at Chiang Kai-shek International Airport after Princess Dekiy disembarked from a flight from Hong Kong on September 17. The princess, 43, believed her diplomatic passport would prevent her being searched, but Taiwan had no diplomatic relations with Bhutan. Hong Kong police assisted in the investigation, but the Taiwanese authorities privately expressed dissatisfaction with the effectiveness of their role. Prosecutors asked detectives in the territory to piece together the princess' movements during her two-week stay in Hong Kong before she flew to Taiwan, where she allegedly intended to sell the illicit goods. It is now known she stayed in two Tsim Sha Tsui hotels, and that she sought advice from Chinese medicine shops in the area about the value of the horns. She claimed to have been told the goods would fetch US$300,000 (HK$2.3 million) in Taiwan, but other estimates put the figure closer to US$1 million. Prosecutors believe a Hong Kong man played a vital role in the international smuggling attempt, and are still seeking the intended buyer in Taiwan. Hong Kong police were asked to trace all phone calls made by the princess from her hotel rooms, and to help identify the mystery buyer. ''The Hong Kong police gave me a list of all the telephone calls she made, but there were none to Taipei,'' Mr Hung said. ''We gave them the name of a man who would know who the buyer is; also, I think the drugstores she went to know who he is. ''If the Hong Kong police try their best I think they can find out; I don't know why they haven't. I can't comment about how helpful they have been.'' The princess will appear in court tomorrow for the indictment to be served, and for the judge to question her further. She is expected to be sentenced before the end of the month. The Sunday Morning Post has obtained a copy of the prosecutor's indictment report in which he recommends a prison term. It reads: ''The defendant's company in Bhutan, Dezang Drinks, has suffered losses, and is in need of financial resources. ''The defendant illegally imported seven Indian Fire rhino horns, which were left by her dead husband, 15 Indian Fire rhino horns, which cost her around US$140,000 to buy, and nine bear galls.'' In a bid to clean up its image as the world's dumping ground for animal products from endangered species, Taiwan is drafting legislation which will see anyone smuggling products such as rhino horn facing a seven-year jail term.