Man in police custody for storing endangered tiger carcass

By Minh Nga   November 9, 2020 | 05:40 pm GMT+7
Police in HCMC are investigating a man for buying an Indochinese tiger carcass to soak in wine.

Ly Hai Tho, 28, a resident in Ho Chi Minh City’s Phu Nhuan District, was detained for "violations of regulations on the protection of endangered and rare animals," the district police said Sunday, Cong An TPHCM (HCMC Police) newspaper reported.

After a period of surveillance, police in Phu Nhuan had linked Tho to a wild animal trafficking ring.

On the night of September 22, they raided his house and found an Indochinese tiger carcass, along with a stuffed tiger head and a stuffed bear head.

At the police station, Tho said he had grown acquainted with a person online who trades in wild animals.

Recently, the contact put an Indochinese tiger carcass weighing 7 kg up for sale at VND20 million ($860), said to be a "good price."

Tho said he had bought the carcass to soak in wine and then display the bottle in his house.

The Indochinese carcass soaked in wine as seized from Ly Hai Tho by police in HCMCs Phu Nhuan District, November 8, 2020. Photo by the police

An Indochinese tiger carcass found in a bag at Ly Hai Tho's house in HCMC's Phu Nhuan District. Photo by the police.

Discovering a further weapons cache at his residence, police have decided to expand their investigation.

Indochinese tigers are listed as "endangered" on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

The University of Oxford said in a January publication this year only 221 Indochinese tigers are estimated to remain in two Asian countries, Thailand and Myanmar.

An investigator at Phu Nhuan District’s police department said in recent times, traffickers have increasingly used social media to easily approach buyers and hide their true identities.

The heads of bears and tigers, tiger carcasses and elephant tusks are traded publicly on these platforms, with operations difficult to pin down, the officer said.

As regulated in Vietnam, it is illegal to hunt, kill, possess, capture, transport, or trade protected animals in the country, with violations carrying penalties of up to 15 years in prison and fines up to VND15 billion ($645,000).

 
 
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