Vietnam investigating reports of shark fins being dried on embassy roof in Chile

By Anh Minh   January 22, 2018 | 12:23 am PT
Vietnam investigating reports of shark fins being dried on embassy roof in Chile
A screen capture of El Mostrador's report showing shark fins put to dry on what it said was the roof of Vietnamese embassy in Providencia, Chile.
Photos appear to show over 100 fins on the roof of the embassy, and locals have been complaining that something smells fishy.

Vietnamese ministries are scrambling to clarify a controversial report that claims officials in Chile have been drying shark fins on the roof of the Vietnamese embassy.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade has asked the Foreign Ministry to verify the information and cooperate with Chilean government agencies to deal with the matter in accordance with local laws. Chile passed a nationwide ban on shark finning in 2011.

Tran Tuan Anh from the trade ministry has also ordered the Vietnam Commerce Office in Chile to explain images of shark fins on the roof of its office at the embassy.

Anh said the matter needs to be resolved by Thursday.

On Friday, Chilean newspaper El Mostrador published photos of shark fins drying on the roof of a building it said was the commercial office at the Vietnamese embassy in Providencia, a district in Chile’s capital Santiago.

There were “at least 100 shark fins” on the roof on Thursday afternoon, the report said in Spanish.

It also said people living near the building had been complaining about a bad smell since January 13.

According to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), nearly 100 million sharks are killed each year, and the global shark fin trade is largely responsible for their decimation.

The expensive shark fin soup is favored by many people in Vietnam based on traditional beliefs that it can help with rejuvenation, appetite enhancement and blood nourishment.

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