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Gang arrested after stealing 100 dogs a night

By Hai Binh   July 23, 2022 | 04:31 pm PT
Gang arrested after stealing 100 dogs a night
Six members of a dog theft gang are held at a police station in Nghe An Province, July 2022. Photo courtesy of Nghe An Police
Police in the north central province of Nghe An have arrested six members of a dog theft gang on allegations of stealing around 100 dogs every night.

Vuong Van Hong, 36, identified as the gang leader, and his five accomplices are being investigated for theft of property, police said Saturday.

Many families in Nghe An and its neighbor Ha Tinh have recently complained to local authorities their dogs had been stolen at night, urging police officers to track down the culprits.

Officers on Wednesday morning raided Hong's house, found to hold 63 dogs and 15 cats they had stolen.

Police also seized a pickup truck used to transport stolen dogs, stun guns, and other tools.

Investigators said Hong served as the "boss" of the dog theft gang, operating from Nghe An to Ha Tinh.

Four members would typically hunt pet dogs with stun guns, with their remaining accomplices following behind with the pickup truck for collection.

On average, the gang stole about 100 dogs each night and sold them to Hong for VND50,000 ($2.14) a kilo. Hong then sold them to other traders in- and outside the province for a profit.

The truck used by Vuong Van Hongs gang in Nghe An Province to collect stolen dogs. Photo courtesy of Nghe An Police

The truck used by Vuong Van Hong's gang in Nghe An Province to collect stolen dogs. Photo courtesy of Nghe An Police

According to local police, the gang was very reckless, hurling bottles or using crossbows to protect themselves.

Police are expanding their investigation to clarify the total number of dogs stolen by the gang.

Dog theft is rarely treated as a criminal offense in Vietnam unless the stolen animals are valued at more than VND2 million ($86).

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

Many of the dogs that make it to the grill are stolen pets sold to small, unregulated abattoirs and killed in brutal ways.

 
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