Four criminals jailed for 18 years for trafficking pangolin scales

VCN – Education for Nature -Vietnam (ENV) has announced that Hanoi People's Court has just handed 18-year jail sentences to four criminals for trafficking and illegal transportation of 984kg of pangolin scales worth over VND1.3 billion.
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Four criminals jailed for 18 years for trafficking pangolin scales
The trial

Four criminals include Nguyen Thi Chinh, 34, residing in Hop Hoa town, Tam Duong district, Vinh Phuc province, who is the perpetrator of trafficking 984kg of pangolin scales, was jailed for seven years.

Hoang Thi Hien Phuong, 38, residing in Hien Giang commune, Thuong Tin district, Hanoi, who is a broker, got a 5-year prison sentence.

Nguyen Van Su, 42, residing in Hop Hoa town, Tam Duong district, Vinh Phuc province who is the shipper, faces two years in jail.

Nguyen Thi Ha, 34, residing in Tam Duong district, Vinh Phuc province faces a 4-year prison sentence.

These criminals were sentenced in line with the provisions of Articles 190 and 191 of the Penal Code 2015 (revised in Penal Code 2017) for illegally trading or transporting pangolin scales.

Earlier, the Police Department of Environmental Crime Prevention and Control (Hanoi Police) made a special plan to monitor the operation of the criminal ring.

On March 29, the competent force arrested Chinh, Phuong and Su, and seized 984kg of white-bellied pangolin scales (Manis tricuspis). During the investigation, the force arrested Ha as an accomplice in the trading of pangolin scales.

The white-bellied pangolin is listed in Appendix I to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The scale of the white-bellied pangolin which is listed in Appendix I of CITES, is prohibited goods under the provisions of point (c) Clause 1 Article 6 of the Investment Law 2020 and Clause 5, Article 3 of Decree 98/2020/ND- CP.

984kg of pangolin scales, worth over VND1.3 billion, is a large value compared with the minimum value of VND500 million specified in Clause 3, Article 190 and 191 of the Penal Code.

According to ENV, the trafficking of 984kg of pangolin scales is not only the largest arrest in Hanoi, but also one of the largest wildlife violation cases in Vietnam.

Deputy Director of ENV Bui Thi Ha said: “The case with a huge volume of pangolin scales saw the sophisticated method of the transnational trafficking of pangolin scales. The arrest, criminal prosecution and strict handling of the above four criminals showed the drastic combat against wildlife crimes by Hanoi competent agencies.”

ENV hopes that the authorities across the country will continue to make great efforts to fight wildlife crimes, especially focusing on investigating and handling those behind the rings that illegally transport and trade tens of tons of pangolin scales, rhino horn and ivory originating from Africa into Vietnam every year.

By Thai Binh/Ngoc Loan

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