Ha Noi environment police nab animal trafficking ring
(January 9th, 2008)
HA NOI ? Ha Noi police on Monday busted a trafficking gang moving wild animals, seizing two live tigers and frozen pieces from four others along with a large quantity of various animal parts, according to a police source.
A senior officer at Unit 2, the Environmental Protection Division of the Ha Noi Police, who wished to remain anonymous, told Viet Nam News yesterday that two suspects: Nguyen Kim Mui and Nguyen Quoc Truong, along with three others, were detained.
The officer said that the two living tigers weighed 50kg each and were found sedated in the back of a car. Mui was caught selling them to Truong at 6pm on Monday at a price of VND320 million (US$20,000).
“This was the first time that living tigers were found being trafficked through an urban area. It indicated that those traffickers were very professional, and it’s possible that they have done this before.” he said.
According to the officer, Mui and her accomplices were very aggressive toward police when their house in Ha Dong City, 10km west of Ha Noi, was searched.
The police also found at the two suspects’ houses frozen pieces of four other large tigers, which weighed at least 100kg each, 11 living bears, limbs of bears and a hefty quantity of solid cakes from rendered animal bones used for traditional medicinal purposes. The police yesterday handed the two living tigers over to the Ha Noi Wild Animals Rescue Centre, an affiliate of the Ha Noi Forestry Division.
The division’s director, Nguyen Cong Duc, said that the two big cats were in good health and being taken care of.
He said: “From my own experience and observation of these tigers’ conditions, they are youngsters. They could be caught in the wild, possibly from a neighbouring country, rather than being raised in a household in Viet Nam.” ? VNS
For The Tiger
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