Six suspects from a dog theft gang in the southern Vietnamese province of Tay Ninh have been sentenced to a combined 30 years in prison.
The People’s Court in Go Dau District, Tay Ninh on Saturday morning opened a trial regarding the illegal ring that had been responsible for many large-scale dog thefts in the locality.
As per the decision of the court, Do Thanh Quang, 40, and Pham Hoang Lam, 28, were sentenced to seven years in prison.
Their accomplices, Nguyen Anh Tuan, 61, and Pham Hoang Ngan, 26, will face a five-year jail term, while Do Trung Hieu, 39, and Nguyen Thi Bach Ngoc, 48, will be put behind bars for three years.
According to the indictment, Tuan and Ngoc, who are husband and wife, sold dog meat for a living in Hoa Thanh District.
In early December 2016, Quang, Lam, Ngan, and Hieu approached the couple to discuss their deal, in which Tuan and Ngoc would buy the dogs stolen by the gang and use them for their business.
Following the agreement, the four men started hunting for some canines with stun guns during the night before selling their loot to the married couple at around 5:00 am the following day.
The stolen animals were sold at VND35,000 ($1.54) to VND37,000 ($1.63) per kilogram.
After processing the meat, Ngoc and Tuan would sell it to their customers at VND40,000 ($1.76) per kilogram.
On December 23, 2016, officers from the provincial Department of Police caught the gang red-handed trading 47 stolen dogs weighing 512 kilograms in total, which were worth some VND25.6 million ($1,126).
The defendants admitted their crime during the trial.
As their criminal records showed several previous convictions, the jury decided to impose the jail terms upon the offenders.