Man sentenced for smuggling 7,000 dead sea turtles

VietNamNet Bridge – 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.

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In 2014, Education for Nature Viet Nam detected a sea turtle trafficking ring led by two brothers - Hoang Tuan Hai and Hoang Minh Cuong - in the central city of Nha Trang. — Photo Courtesy of ENV


In 2014, Education for Nature Viet 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 - Hoang Tuan Hai and Hoang Minh Cuong - 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 Hai and Cuong used to store, process and sell the turtles, most of which were doi moi (Eretmochlys imbricate), an endangered species.

Hai and Cuong 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 Cuong. So, only Hai has been charged.

ENV vice director Bui Thi Ha said the trial against Hai 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.

Source: VNS

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