Police in the north-central Vietnamese province of Nghe An have carried out a search at the house of a man who publicly claimed to sell products made from wild animals and found teeth and bones from dogs.
Ho Minh Chinh, 24, from Nghe An, has been summoned by local police to clarify the photos attached to several Facebook statuses in which Chinh claimed to be selling wildlife parts including tiger bones, bear bile, eagles and others, Ho Van Quy, the head of the local forest protection department, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Sunday.
The forest protection officers, in coordination with local police, conducted a search at Chinh’s residence after being given a tip-off on Saturday and did not discover any of the listed products, only locating 2kg of dog teeth and 5kg of dog bones.
The bones are used to make a special kind of medicine while the teeth can be disguised as tiger fangs, and sold at a considerable price, according to Ho Van Hai, Chinh’s father.
The bones and teeth were bought from local restaurants that sell dog meat, Hai added.
Hai, 50, was himself previously a popular maker of the medicine in the area, as at the time the sale of wildlife parts was legal in Vietnam, one of the investigators said.
In traditional oriental medicine, the bones of tigers and other wild animals were commonly used to produce a concentrated form of liquid which was believed to be rich in nutrition and used as a cure for various diseases.
In December 2015, Chinh wrote several statuses claiming that he sold parts and products made from wild animal remains on his personal Facebook page, along with contact details and photos.
The photos depicted the products including tiger bones, bear bile, eagles, deer antlers, and special medicine made from all kinds of animal remains.
One of the photos showed Chinh himself extracting the bile out of a dead bear.
The medicine made from tiger bones can be sold for between VND25 million (US$1,112.5) and VND27 million ($1,201.5) per gram, Chinh told Tuoi Tre reporters on the phone.
After police’s probe on Sunday, all statuses and related photos were deleted from Chinh’s Facebook page.
Police records also reveal that Chinh was previously arrested for selling fake tiger fangs, which were dog fangs covered with gold and silver, to a client in Hanoi in 2013.