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Vietnam woman charged for buying endangered animals for ‘medicinal’ paste

Wednesday, December 25, 2019, 11:51 GMT+7
Vietnam woman charged for buying endangered animals for ‘medicinal’ paste
Two black-shanked doucs confiscated by police officers at an establishment in Lam Dong Province, Vietnam. Photo: L.D. / Tuoi Tre

Police in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong have pressed charges against a local woman for buying black-shanked doucs and pig-tailed macaques with the intention of using the endangered animals as an ingredient in a ‘medicinal’ paste.

Pham Thi Lien, 33, has been charged with stockpiling endangered wild animals, officers in Duc Trong District said on Tuesday.

The crime carries a prison sentence of 1-10 years, according to the Penal Code of Vietnam.

Police conducted a surprise administrative inspection of Lien’s establishment in Duc Trong earlier this month and found the bodies of five monkey-like animals in a freezer and two in the front yard.

As the officers suspected the animals of being endangered wild animals, they took Lien in for questioning.

At the police station, Lien admitted she had intended to use the five frozen animals for cooking a ‘medicinal’ paste.

The two animals in her front yard were left behind by two sellers who had fled before police officers arrived, she said.

A police examination found that the two animals in the front yard and one in the freezer were of the endangered black-shanked douc species.

The remaining four animals in the freezer were pig-tailed macaques, also a rare and endangered species.

A pig-tailed macaque is found in a freezer at an establishment in Lam Dong Province, Vietnam. Photo: L.D. / Tuoi Tre

A pig-tailed macaque is found in a freezer at an establishment in Lam Dong Province, Vietnam. Photo: L.D. / Tuoi Tre

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