Eight tons of smuggled pangolin scales seized in Vietnam port

By Sen    May 16, 2019 | 04:13 pm GMT+7
Eight tons of smuggled pangolin scales seized in Vietnam port
Some of eight tons of pangolin scales seized in Hai Phong in March 2019. Photo courtesy of Hai Phong Customs Department
An 8-ton shipment of pangolin scales was seized at the northern Hai Phong port in March, the city’s customs department said this week.

The contraband shipment was transported by Mia Schulte ship from Africa to the port on March 22. Hai Phong customs officials began inspecting the container on March 25, and only announced the investigation results on Wednesday.  

The scales were packed in 311 bags in a 20-feet container. The recipient was a Hanoi-based business.

Dr. Dang Tat The of Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources, a wildlife expert, said that this was the largest seizure of pangolin scales ever in Vietnam.

Pangolin trafficking is not rare in Vietnam, where it is legally protected and categorized as endangered.

The shy, tiny creature, which resembles a scaly anteater, is the world's most heavily trafficked mammal despite bans. Pangolins are hunted in Vietnam and its neighborhood for their meat and the alleged medicinal properties of their scales.

A December 2017 study by wildlife trade monitoring group Traffic and Australia’s University of Adelaide found that of the 10 countries and territories with the largest number of trafficking incidents, seven are in Asia – China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Laos, and Indonesia.

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