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Trial of 14 cases related to rhino horn

20:23 | 09/10/2021

VCN - According to the statistics of Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV), among 20 cases that have arrested suspects related to the illegal trade in rhino horns (from 2018 to present), 14 cases have been brought to trial.

Do Thanh Son and smuggled rhino horn were seized by Can Tho port Customs Branch.
Do Thanh Son and smuggled rhino horn were seized by Can Tho port Customs Branch.

Accordingly, the harshest punishment for a person involved in the illegal transport of rhino horn that has been applied so far is 12 years and 6 months in prison and an additional penalty of VND100 million for a person transporting 11 pieces of rhino horn weighing 28.7 kg by air from Mozambique to Vietnam (the case was handled by Can Tho Port Border Gate Customs Branch, Can Tho Customs Department) tried by the People's Court of Can Tho City at the end of December 2020.

Previously, in November 2020, the People's Court of Tan Binh District (HCMC) also sentenced a person who smuggled rhino horn from Mozambique to Vietnam to a 6-year prison term. This person was found to be transporting 12 pieces of white rhino horn weighing 6.1kg in registered baggage.

According to ENV, the average prison sentence for crimes relating to rhino horn from 2018 to July 2021 was 6.15 years, which was a harsh punishment, 2 years higher than the average sentence for criminals trafficking wildlife and has partly met the goal of preventing smuggling, trafficking and transportation of rhino horn.

In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, the smuggling of ivory and rhino horn shipments to Vietnam may have slowed down, but the advertising and sale of rhino horns on the Internet are showing signs of increasing in recent times.

In 2020, ENV recorded 74 cases of rhino horn violations, including 62 cases of advertising and selling rhino horns online. In addition, the competent authorities also confiscated nearly 140kg of rhino horn in five cases. The number of rhino horn cases recorded by ENV in the first six months of 2021 is 34 cases.

Bui Thi Ha, Deputy Director of ENV said: “Promoting the achievements, ENV hoped that competent authorities across the country would continue to strengthen efforts to combat wildlife violations in general and rhino horn in particular, it was especially necessary to focus resources on investigating and clarifying illegal rhino horn trafficking and transportation lines and the subjects behind the operation of those lines.”

In addition, it is necessary to continue to apply strict sentences for offenders to ensure the meaning of deterrence and prevention. ENV also recommended competent authorities to strengthen communication and raise people's awareness about the serious legal consequences that might be encountered when trading, using and consuming illegal rhino horns.

By Thái Bình/Thanh Thuy