Friday , May 24 2024

Vietnam destroys 10 tons of smuggled wild animal parts

Nearly 10 tons of endangered animal parts from Africa, including ivory and rhino horns that were seized from a smuggler in Da Nang City, have been incinerated.

A court in the central city ruled Thursday to burn 456.9 kg of elephant tusks, 140 kg of rhino horns, 6.2 tons of pangolin scales, and 3.1 tons of lion bones.

The animal parts, which would cost an estimated VND300 billion (US$12.36 million) on the black market, were seized from Nguyen Duc Tai, 33, a Da Nang resident.

They were seized when imported from Africa to Vietnam at Da Nang’s Tien Sa Port in 2021 and 2022.

Tai had set up two companies to import the animal parts.

The shipments were disguised as other products. One that arrived in July 2021 was said to carry floor wood panels but turned out to contain rhino horns and lion bones.

Da Nang People’s Court in February sentenced Tai to 10 years in prison for violating regulations of wild animal protections, and three years for forgery.

Wildlife trafficking remains rampant in Vietnam, which has been a major market as well as a transit point for consumers in China and the U.S., and Tien Sa Port is one of the destinations usually chosen by smugglers.

In March 2019, Da Nang Customs coordinated with police and border guards to search containers from Congo to the port and discovered 9.12 tons of ivory disguised in wooden crates.

In October 2018, Da Nang police coordinated with officers from the Ministry of Public Security and Da Nang Customs to seize a shipment of 10 tons of ivory and pangolin scales imported from Nigeria to Tien Sa.

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