|In 2014, Education for Nature Việt Nam detected a sea turtle trafficking ring led by two brothers - Hoàng Tuấn Hải and Hoàng Minh Cường - in the central city of Nha Trang. — Photo Courtesy of ENV|
NHA TRANG — Central Nha Trang City People’s Court on Monday sentenced a wildlife trafficker to four-and-a-half years in prison for smuggling and processing more than 10 tonnes of sea turtle.
In 2014, Education for Nature Việt Nam (ENV), a non-governmental organisation focused on the conservation of nature and protecting the environment, detected a sea turtle trafficking ring led by two brothers - Hoàng Tuấn Hải and Hoàng Minh Cường - in the central city of Nha Trang.
The organisation cooperated with relevant authorised agencies and found nearly 7,000 dead sea turtles at six warehouses, where Hải and Cường used to store, process and sell the turtles, most of which were đồi mồi (Eretmochlys imbricate), an endangered species.
Hải and Cường allegedly led the trafficking ring that bought dead sea turtles from fishermen and then processed and exported the finished products to China. However, investigation police failed to collect enough evidence to prosecute Cường. So, only Hải has been charged.
ENV vice director Bùi Thị Hà said the trial against Hải would restore public trust in the judiciary.
She also called upon the agencies responsible for the legal procedure to come up with more effective ways to address wildlife-related crimes.
“Seizing exhibits is not enough. Our final goal is to crack down and freeze all wildlife trafficking networks,” she said. — VNS