Viet Nam News
QUẢNG NAM -- A man was arrested yesterday on suspicion of stealing over 500 Ngọc Linh ginseng plants from a ginseng farm in Quảng Nam province last Tuesday.
The plants, which are between 2 and 17 years old, are worth VNĐ300 million (US$13,200).
The incident was reported to local police when Hồ Văn Dương, the farm owner, visited his farm last Wednesday and detected that thieves had removed ginseng plants, weighing nearly 9 kilograms in total, from the garden.
Immediately after hearing of the incident, district authorities asked local police to investigate.
Hồ Quang Bửu, chairman of Nam Trà My District’s People’s Committee, said yesterday that the main suspect of the incident had been arrested.
He is identified as Phan Quốc Dân, 28, a forest ranger of Sông Tranh Protective Forest.
Earlier on Sunday, the police from Nam Trà My District coordinated with Tam Kỳ Town in detaining Nguyễn Bá Nguyệt, 30, while he was on the way to bring nearly 4kg of the stolen ginseng for consumption.
Nguyệt has allegedly confessed his crime and shared information about his accomplice.
He told police that as a person who knew clearly about geographical conditions, Dân had enticed him to steal ginseng plants in Dương’s farm in Trà Linh Commune.
Following Nguyệt’s confession, the police have arrested his accomplice and seized the lost ginseng.
Ngọc Linh ginseng (Panax Vietnamensis or Vietnamese ginseng) was found on the mountain of the same name at an altitude of 2,598m on the border between Kon Tum and Quảng Nam Province in the late 1960s.
Ngọc Linh ginseng is believed to rival Korean ginseng in its medicinal efficacy in improving the immunity, enhancing liver function and lowering cholesterol.
It is considered a "panacea" for patients suffering from cancer, as it boosts the immune system, relieves pain and reduces side effects of radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
Since Ngọc Linh is rare and precious, a kilo of fresh ginseng can be sold at between VNĐ40-50 million (US$1,750-$2,190) in the market. -- VNS