Viet Nam News
HOÀ BÌNH — Bùi Văn Miên was sentenced to four years of imprisonment on Wednesday for wildlife trafficking, reported the Vietnam News Agency.
Miên is a resident of Xuân Phong Commune, Kim Bôi District, in the northern mountainous province of Hoà Bình.
On January 2, 2018, Kim Bôi district police inspected a car, numbered 28A-00427, and arrested Miên. They seized a box containing the bodies of three Asiatic golden cats.
According to Miên’s testimony, the cats were from Laos, and he was hired to transport them to Hà Nội.
Miên was arrested soon after the 2017 Penal Code became valid, raising sentences for wildlife violations to 15 years of imprisonment or a fine of VNĐ2 billion (US$88,000) for individuals and up to VNĐ15 billion ($660,000) for legal entities, along with suspension of operations ranging from six months to three years or permanent closure of operations.
With the new regulation in place, Miên has been charged under the provisions of Clause 2, Article 211 of the 2017 Penal Code, which lists five to 10 years in prison.
However, due to some extenuating circumstances, Miên was sentenced to only four years in prison under the mentioned law.
The police are currently expanding the investigation into the case to find the person who had provided the three Asiatic golden cats to Miên.
The Asiatic golden cat is an endangered and rare species protected at the highest level under Vietnamese and international laws.
The animal features in the list of endangered species in need of priority protection issued in 2013 in Việt Nam and the Annex I of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. — VNS