Couple poisoned hundreds of dogs, cats with cyanide: police

By Le Hoang   June 15, 2020 | 04:37 pm GMT+7
Couple poisoned hundreds of dogs, cats with cyanide: police
Nguyen Van Phuong (L) is questioned by a police officer in Thanh Hoa Province for killing and stealing dogs and cats. Photo courtesy of the police.

Two culprits, held captive in central Vietnam, told police they had laced food with cyanide to kill and steal dogs and cats for slaughter.

Nguyen Van Phuong, 43, and girlfriend Hoang Thi Phuong, 35, are being investigated on the charge of "property theft" by police in Nhu Xuan District of Thanh Hoa Province.

Nguyen Van Phuong and Hoang Thi Phuong at the police station in Nhu Xuan District of Thanh Hoa Province. Photo of the police.

Nguyen Van Phuong (L) and Hoang Thi Phuong are detained at Nhu Xuan District police station in Thanh Hoa Province for stealing dogs and cats. Photo of the police.

The two, from northern Vietnam, told police they had poisoned and stolen 500 kilos of dogs and cats between June 11 and 14 across Nhu Xuan, Nong Cong, and Nhu Thanh Districts.

They were detained on the morning of Sunday after being accused of poisoning 20 dogs and 10 cats in a commune of Nhu Xuan.

In the early hours of Sunday, commune residents found the bodies of dogs and cats scattered on the main street. Suspicious the animals had been poisoned for purposes of being stolen, they informed commune police, reporting any further developments.

At around two, the couple were caught red handed when collecting the dead carcasses in bags on a motorbike.

Bodies of 20 dogs and 10 cats poisoned by the couple in Nhu Xuan District of Thanh Hoa Province on June 14, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Son

The poisoned carcasses of 20 dogs and 10 cats in Nhu Xuan District of Thanh Hoa Province on June 14, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Son.

Police found three kilos of dried fish and 100 grams of cyanide at the two’s home in Van Thang Commune of Nong Cong District, Thanh Hoa.

The couple admitted they had mixed the fish with cyanide, a fast-acting poison that can be lethal, to incapacitate the animals.

Their rented house, disguised as a dog meat restaurant, was in fact used as a storage facility for stolen meat.

The couple employed helpers to slaughter the animals, freeze the meat and ship to Hanoi restaurants and other northern localities.

Apart from being active in Thanh Hoa Province, the culprits also operated in neighboring Nghe An.

Police said tons of cats and dogs have been killed by the couple using this method, a dog usually weighing around 10 kg and a cat five.

Exposure to certain forms of cyanide at certain concentrations could be fatal within minutes, according to the World Health Organization.

Investigations remain ongoing and are set to expand, according to officials.

There are no laws related to the killing, selling and eating of cat and dog meat in Vietnam. Stealing dogs are only a criminal offense when the animals are worth more than VND2 million ($86).

 
 
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