Three ivory traffickers sentenced to 32 years in jail
Hanoi People’s Court on Thursday sentenced three men to a total of 32 years in jail for trading over 200kg of ivory from African elephants – an endangered species.
|The African elephant is the largest living terrestrial animal with bulls reaching a shoulder height of up to 3.96 metres. — Photo dongvat.net|
The African elephant is the largest living terrestrial animal with bulls reaching a shoulder height of up to 3.96 metres. Both sexes have tusks, which erupt when they are 1–3 years old and grow throughout life.
The wildlife trafficking case was detected on September 30, 2019 as Hanoi police found two cars at Thien Thanh Fishing Area in Phu Dong Commune, Gia Lam District, with bags containing suspected elephant tusks.
When police asked to examine the bags, some of the suspects attempted to escape. The police caught Duong Van Phong, 40 years old, from the northern province of Bac Giang and Nguyen Van Nam, 38 years old, from Hanoi’s Cau Giay District. Another trafficker Nguyen Van Hung, 29 years old, from the northern province of Lang Son turned himself into police later.
Phong admitted that a Chinese man and a Vietnamese interpreter who he met last September told him that they wanted to buy a large amount of ivory and would pay him VND12.5 million for a kilo of ivory.
In the middle of the month, Phong told Nam about the deal and Nam agreed to supply ivory.
On September 30, Phong and Nam met the buyers at Ninh Hiep Market in Gia Lam District. Nam asked his cousin Nguyen Van Hung to drive the ivory-carrying car to the agreed location.
They were caught by environment police that night. The Chinese man and the interpreter ran away.
Nam said that he bought the ivory from a person living in Hoang Mai District, Hanoi.
At court on Thursday, Nam and Phong were given 11-year jail sentences each while Hung as an assistant was sentenced to 10 years in prison. VNS
Many elephant conservation programs have been implemented in Vietnam, but the efforts have not stopped the decline of the elephant population.
Many gold shops in the cities of Hai Phong and Ha Long were discovered by Bao Ve Trung va Moi Truong reporters trading products made of elephant tusks in July.