Five arrested for using poison to kill, steal dogs

By Hoang Phong   March 18, 2020 | 08:07 pm PT
Five arrested for using poison to kill, steal dogs
Stolen dogs are locked in a cage in Nghe An Province, March 16, 2020. Photo courtesy of Nghe An Police.
Nghe An Police have detained five suspects for using poisoned meat to entice and kill at least 100 dogs to sell their meat.

Since dogs are sold by weight to unofficial slaughterhouses and/or dog meat restaurants, the police said that the dogs weighed more than a ton.

Nguyen Hoang Hai, Vo Dinh Trong and Nguyen Quoc Dung, 34, Nguyen Trong Huy, 57, and 30-year-old Tran Van Muoi are being invesatigated for the crime of stealing property, an offense punishable by up to 15 years in jail, police in the central province said Wednesday.

On Monday, police officers in Nghi Loc District arrested Hai and Dung while they were selling stolen dogs to Nguyen Thi Luyen, 51, for consumption.

Expanding the investigation, they arrested three more suspects and seized 12 dogs and three homemade guns as well as dog-snatching devices.

Luyen was detained first for investigating charges of "harboring or consuming property acquired through the commission of crime by other persons."

Authorities said the gang was involved in at least 100 dog poisoning cases since late last month. They laced grilled pork with poison and scattered it on the streets.

Many dogs ingested the poisoned grilled pork and died the spot, and the thieves collected the bodies for sale. Some dogs are caught alive. They threatened to use their weapons if someone tried to stop them, police said.

However the police did not say if their investigation would expand to consumption of poisoned dog meat by humans.

Dog theft is rarely treated as a criminal offense in Vietnam. Only when a stolen animal is valued at more than VND2 million ($86) can it be dealt with as a crime under current Vietnamese law.

Vietnam consumes an estimated five million dogs a year, second only to China's 20 million.

Many dogs that make the pot are stolen pets sold to small, unregulated abattoirs.

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