Police rescue 149 pangolins from trafficker in northern Vietnam

By Minh Phong   November 8, 2016 | 12:39 am PT
Vietnam has become a smuggling hub for endangered animals destined for the Chinese market.

Police in the northern border province of Quang Ninh have arrested a truck driver suspected of trafficking wild animals.

While searching the truck, police found 149 pangolins, 105 turtles and 172 kilograms of pangolin scales stored in styrofoam containers.

Police said that the animals are alive but in poor health.

They are conducting further investigations.


Pangolins rescued by Quang Ninh police. Photo by H.Q

In Vietnam, pangolins are commonly consumed as specialty dishes at restaurants, soaked and served in wine or used in traditional medicine.

Education for Nature-Vietnam, one of Vietnam's few locally based conservation groups, said that the country is a transit point for pangolin trafficking networks from other neighboring countries like Laos and Cambodia to China.

Since the start of 2005, the group has detected more than 69 tons of frozen pangolins and live pangolins being transported illegally to the northern province of Hai Phong, from where they are shipped to China.

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