Five suspects arrested in tiger trafficking case
Last Updated: Friday, October 23, 2009 23:30:32 Vietnam (GMT+07)
Police in Hanoi on Tuesday said they have apprehended five people for suspected involvement in the illegal transport of two tigers uncovered last week.
Preliminary investigations have shown that Nguyen Mau Duyen from the northern province of Thanh Hoa, as head of the ring, offered the tigers to Nguyen Thi Yen in Hanoi at VND3.4 million (US$190.53) per kilogram through two brokers.
However, while Dinh Thanh Huyen was transporting the two tigers weighing 90 kilograms and 40 kilograms each by taxi from Thanh Hoa to Hanoi on Friday for a fee of VND30 million ($1,681) apiece, he was stopped by the capital city police.
Tigers are disappearing rapidly from their natural habitat in Vietnam, with less than 50 tigers living in the wild now. Tiger skin, teeth, meat and bones fetch high prices on the black market here.
Also on Tuesday, Luong Vinh Linh, director of Cu Yang Sin National Park in the central highlands of Dak Lak, said they are yet to track down four suspects for recently shooting to death two black-shanked doucs (Pygathrix nigripes).
On Thursday, the park’s rangers found the four men looking for a way in the forest with the monkeys’ carcasses, according to Linh.
The poachers, armed with guns, threatened the rangers who had just teargas guns, warning them not to chase them before fleeing, leaving the bodies behind, the director added.
The black-shanked douc is listed in Vietnam’s Red Book and considered critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
Article 190 of the national Penal Code stipulates a prison sentence of two to seven years, depending on the seriousness of the crime, for anyone convicted of hunting or trading in endangered species.
In Vietnam, the douc is hunted mostly for its meat or for use in traditional medicine.