|The African elephant is the largest living terrestrial animal with bulls reaching a shoulder height of up to 3.96 metres. — Photo dongvat.net|
HÀ NỘI — Hà Nội People’s Court on Thursday sentenced three men to a total of 32 years in jail for trading over 200kg of ivory from African elephants – an endangered species.
The African elephant is the largest living terrestrial animal with bulls reaching a shoulder height of up to 3.96 metres. Both sexes have tusks, which erupt when they are 1–3 years old and grow throughout life.
The wildlife trafficking case was detected on September 30, 2019 as Hà Nội police found two cars at Thiên Thanh Fishing Area in Phù Đổng Commune, Gia Lâm District, with bags containing suspected elephant tusks.
When police asked to examine the bags, some of the suspects attempted to escape. The police caught Dương Văn Phong, 40 years old, from the northern province of Bắc Giang and Nguyễn Văn Nam, 38 years old, from Hà Nội’s Cầu Giấy District. Another trafficker Nguyễn Văn Hưng, 29 years old, from the northern province of Lạng Sơn turned himself into police later.
Phong admitted that a Chinese man and a Vietnamese interpreter who he met last September told him that they wanted to buy a large amount of ivory and would pay him VNĐ12.5 million for a kilo of ivory.
In the middle of the month, Phong told Nam about the deal and Nam agreed to supply ivory.
On September 30, Phong and Nam met the buyers at Ninh Hiệp Market in Gia Lâm District. Nam asked his cousin Nguyễn Văn Hưng to drive the ivory-carrying car to the agreed location.
They were caught by environment police that night. The Chinese man and the interpreter ran away.
Nam said that he bought the ivory from a person living in Hoàng Mai District, Hà Nội.
At court on Thursday, Nam and Phong were given 11-year jail sentences each while Hưng as an assistant was sentenced to 10 years in prison. — VNS