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Vietnam police arrest suspects for smuggling rhino horns, elephant tusks, tiger carcasses

Sunday, April 30, 2017, 17:11 GMT+7
Vietnam police arrest suspects for smuggling rhino horns, elephant tusks, tiger carcasses
This photo shows the rhino horn pieces police seized at the Hanoi Gas Station on April 27, 2017.

Vietnamese police officers have just put three suspects in criminal detention after finding them smuggling wildlife earlier this week.

The suspects in question are Nguyen Mau Chien, Nguyen Van Tung, and Nguyen Ngoc Dung, all hailing from the north-central province of Thanh Hoa.

Chien, Tung and Dung were caught red-handed transporting more than 30kg of rhino horns at the Hanoi Gas Station on April 27. 

Police then searched Chien’s living place and discovered 3kg of rhino horn, two frozen tiger carcasses, elephant tusks, lion skin, and some other products made from elephant tusk.

Chien admitted to police officers that he and his nephews, Tung and Dung, had bought the wildlife from South Africa and shipped them to Malaysia.

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Wildlife pieces found at Nguyen Mau Chien's living place. Photo: Police

They then transported them to Ho Chi Minh City before taking them to Hanoi for consumption.

Investigators believe Chien is just part of a larger ring smuggling wildlife so they are expanding their probe.

Rhino horn is erroneously believed to have medicinal properties in many parts of Asia, including Vietnam.

Scientists have proved that the horn simply contains what one can find in human fingernails.

In accordance with Vietnamese law, the import of rhino horns, as with all animals protected by the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), is strictly prohibited. 

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