Pay a heavy toll for transporting 2.5 tons of pangolin scales

On June 26th, the People’s Court of Nghe An province conducted a first-instance trial and sentenced Le Van Sang (38 years old, residing in Thanh Đong, Thanh Chuong) and Pham Đinh Hieu (20 years old, residing in Đo Thanh, Yen Thanh) to 8 years in prison for the acts of “illegally transporting goods across the border” and “transporting prohibited goods.”

The two defendants at the trial. (Photo: VTV)

According to records, defendants Sang and Hieu were both hired by a person named Nguyen Trong Thai (34 years old, Hieu’s brother-in-law). In mid-August 2024, Sang and Hieu were directed by Thai to go to Laos to bring back ebony wood and pangolin scales to Vietnam. Notably, during the customs procedures, both defendants declared that their vehicle was not carrying anything. However, when passing through the area of Hung Thong commune, Hung Nguyen district, Nghe An province, they were inspected by the authorities.

The authorities discovered and seized 29 logs of ebony wood weighing over 2 tons valued at 600 million VND and 2.5 tons of pangolin scales contained in 63 large sacks valued at over 12 billion VND.

After hearing that Hieu and Sang were arrested, Thai fled the locality. The police immediately initiated proceedings against the suspect and issued a warrant for Thai’s arrest.

It is known that pangolins are wild animals listed in the IUCN Red Book of Vietnam, belonging to the critically endangered species. Annually, about more than 10,000 pangolins are hunted and traded illegally to use their scales in traditional medicine and for meat consumption.

Let’s raise awareness to protect the living environment and wildlife to aim for a future where no species stands on the brink of extinction anymore!

Source: VTV

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