According to Channel NewsAsia, the frozen bodies of 7 tiger cubs were recently found inside a car in Hanoi, Vietnam. This reportedly led to the arrest of a wildlife trafficking suspect who is believed to have been smuggling wildlife from Laos for the past few years.
The suspect, named Nguyen Huu Hue, was arrested on Thursday (25th July) along with two other people after it was discovered that they stored the frozen carcasses of 7 tiger cubs in their vehicle at a parking lot.
A representative of Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security was quoted as saying,
“Hue set up a company which sells building material as a cover for the illegal trading of tigers and wildlife.”
Authorities are still uncertain if the tiger cubs came from the wild or from illegal tiger farms in Laos. In Vietnam, tiger parts are often used for traditional medicine or jewellery. Tiger bones are usually boiled down and mixed with rice wine to make an elixir that is believed to treat arthritis and improve strength.
On the same day, 125kg of rhino horns were also found at an airport in Hanoi. The horns were reportedly encased in plaster, which took the authorities half a day to break open. Rhino horns reportedly carry a hefty price, and can cost up to USD$60,000 (approx RM247,206) per kilogramme, and are typically used in medicines to help cure diseases and fight hangovers.
Vietnam is known as a hub for both the smuggling and consumption of illegal wildlife. Tigers, elephant tusks, pangolins, and rhino horns are among the most popular animals that are mostly consumed locally, while the rest is smuggled to China.
Let’s hope the authorities do their best to curb this illicit wildlife trade to protect our endangered species and punish those responsible.
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