Wednesday, May 23 2018

VietNamNews

Court to open proceedings against turtle trafficker

Update: December, 16/2017 - 09:00
The People’s Court of the central coastal province of Nha Trang will begin proceedings on Monday in the case against Hoàng Tấn Hải, who was found illegally trafficking 10 tonnes of marine turtles in 2014.— Photo ENV

HÀ NỘI — The People’s Court of the central coastal province of Nha Trang will begin proceedings on Monday in the case against Hoàng Tấn Hải, who was found illegally trafficking 10 tonnes of marine turtles in 2014.

Agencies discovered more than 7,000 dead marine turtles following raids at six warehouses in the city of Nha Trang in late 2014. The case was believed to be the largest seizure of marine turtles in the world.

The reason for three years elapsing between the arrest and prosecution beginning are unclear.

Police had previously listed Hải and his younger brother Hoàng Mạnh Cường as ringleaders of marine turtle trafficking.

The arrests took place after a two-year investigation, undertaken by the Education for Nature – Việt Nam (ENV), into a criminal network that hunted marine turtles and sold them through middlemen to Cường.

The dead turtles were then processed in Cường’s factory, located in Nha Trang City, and smuggled to China where they were purchased for their decorative shells.

Cường has avoided charges as Hải took full responsibility for the crimes.

Bùi Thị Hà, deputy director of ENV, said the case had drawn attention both domestically and internationally.

“It is an opportunity for Việt Nam to prove to the world that we have made efforts to fight wildlife crime,” she said.

Tests showed that the species confiscated are included in the list of endangered, precious, and rare species prioritised for protection issued with Government Decree 160 in 2013. —VNS

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