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Vietnam hotel boss nicked for buying 303kg dismembered tiger to make bone glue

Thursday, January 22, 2015, 14:20 GMT+7

Vietnamese police have arrested the director of a hotel in the northern province of Bac Kan for illegally procuring a large dead tiger, an endangered wild species, to make bone glue.   

>> An audio version of the story is available here

>> Man caught making tiger bone paste illegally>> A godfather of tiger bone paste Colonel Trieu Dinh Hoa, chief of the province’s anti-environmental crime police department, has recently confirmed the arrest of Nguyen Van Duoc, 51, director of the Bac Kan Trading and Hotel Co. Ltd., news website Dan Tri reported on Wednesday.

The colonel added that Duoc was found purchasing the tiger which had been dismembered to make tiger bone paste. Duoc was detained for breaching regulations on the protection of precious and rare wild animals after investigators concluded that he was the owner of five separated parts of a big tiger that was discovered in a truck at the Bac Kan Hotel in Duc Xuan Commune on January 15. When police examined the truck that day, the driver, Pham Minh Long, 43, told police that he had been hired by unknown people to transport the items to Duoc’s hotel. The parts of the tiger, which were packed in sacks, weighed 303kg in total. Police also impounded two sacks containing animal bones, three kilograms of tiger bone glue, three kilograms of turtle shells, two scales, and a set of special kitchen utensils intended for cooking tiger bone glue in the truck.  Police is detaining Long for further interrogation. On searching Duoc’s room at the hotel, police found and seized two handguns and numerous animal claws, clutches, and bones. Police are expanding their probe to identify the origin of the dead tiger, the animal parts found in the truck and in Duoc’s room, and the two guns.  On November 8, 2013, police in the north-central Vietnamese province of Ha Tinh caught a man illegally cooking tiger bones in his home to make tiger bone paste. This incident occurred a year after a rash of raids by police on tiger bone glue producers.

Tiger bone paste is said to treat a variety of ailments, including rheumatism.

On December 22, 2014, police in the central province of Nghe An confiscated a frozen dead tiger, weighing 120kg, after detecting it in a car traveling on National Highway 1. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of threatened species, tigers are classified as “endangered,” with the current global wild tiger population estimated to be around 3,000 individuals.

The illegal trade in high-value tiger products including skins, bones, meat, and tonics is the primary threat to tigers, according to IUCN.

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