Police in central Vietnam bust wildlife trafficking ring​

Several cobras, tortoises, and turtles were seized 

Police inspect wild animals at a house in Quang Nam Province, Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Police in central Vietnam said on Wednesday that they had apprehended members of a wildlife trafficking ring after weeks of tracking the group’s activity.

Officials in Quang Nam Province recently raided the residence of Pham Thi Thuan, the group’s leader, and found dozens of wild animals, including 13 endangered king cobras, four impressed tortoises, ten soft-shell turtles, and 33 keeled box turtles.

Police began monitoring the group’s activities in early May after local residents reported the large-scale trading of wild animals in their area.

Cobras kept at Pham Thi Thuan’s house in Quang Nam Province, Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Cobras kept at Pham Thi Thuan’s house in Quang Nam Province, Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre

An investigation into the case is ongoing.

In April, customs officials in Ho Chi Minh City seized nearly 3.8 metric tons of pangolin scales smuggled from Congo.

In late January, police in the southernmost Vietnamese province of Ca Mau impounded 301 kilograms of pangolin scales. 

One hundred and fourteen pangolins, each weighing three to ten kilograms, were also found during the bust.

The trade of wild animals and their parts is common in Vietnam, where many people believe that wildlife products possess medicinal properties, despite their efficacy having never been scientifically proved.

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