Police in central Thanh Hoa Province have detained two local men after catching them illegally keeping a tiger skeleton. Tran The Thu, 48, of Dong Ve Ward, and Dinh Van Kien, 44, of Tho Xuan Ward, were arrested yesterday for investigation of their illegal possession of the skeleton. One day earlier, after receiving a tip-off, provincial police raided Thu’s house and discovered the skeleton. Thu later reported Kien to police as his accomplice. The police seized the skeleton and numerous tools and materials for use in cooking tiger bones. Thu and Kien confessed to police that they had bought the skeleton for VND250 million (US$12,000) to make tiger bone glue to sell. The police are expanding their investigation to trace down the origin of the skeleton. Recently, concerned agencies nationwide have discovered many cases of trafficking and storing both live and dead tigers to make tiger bone glue illegally. On October 12 police in Hanoi caught a Toyota Zace car carrying the body of a dead tiger without documents in Ha Dong District. The carcass was almost intact, complete with the head, skeleton, skin and sets of teeth. On October 4 police in northern Phu Tho Province indicted six people in a ring that bought and transported a dead tiger and then cooked the animal’s bones to make tiger bone glue. The ring, led by 46-year-old Dang Van Quang of Hanoi, was busted on September 22 when they were cooking 286 kg of tiger bones in a remote area in the province’s Viet Tri City. On September 4, police in Ha Tinh, another central province, found four tiger cubs - all alive - weighing 22.15 kilos in total, and 119 pangolins totaling around 424 kilos with no clear origin hidden in a car. On July 30 traffic police in central Quang Binh Province caught a speeding car carrying two tiger bodies weighing nearly 200 kg on National Highway 1A in Thanh Trach Commune, Bo Trach District.
One of the carcasses was dried and weighed 138 kg, while the other weighed 60 kg and had its skin removed.