HO CHI MINH CITY, May 24, (Xinhua/GNA) - Vietnamese relevant forces have detected nearly 5.3 tons of smuggled pangolin scales in southern Ba Ria Vung Tau province which were sent from Nigeria, local media reported on Friday.
The scales were found in 151 bags in two containers, which were registered as carrying cashew nuts and arrived at Cai Mep International Terminal on Wednesday, online newspaper Tai Nguyen & Moi Truong (Resources & Environment) reported.
In Vietnam, illegal hunting, trading, poaching and transportation of pangolins and their products are subject to imprisonment sentences of 1-10 years and a fine of 0.5-2 billion Vietnamese dong (21,700-86,800 U.S. dollars).
Statistics of the Vietnam Association for Wildlife Conservation showed that between 2013 and 2017, Vietnam recorded more than 1,500 crimes related to illegal wildlife trade.
According to local non-governmental organization Education for Nature-Vietnam, rhinos are now extinct in the country, while there are no more than five tigers left, fewer 100 elephants live in the wild, and 16 out of 25 primate species are in critical condition.
Meanwhile, hundreds of bears live in captivity and many other rare and endangered wildlife species are threatened by illegal wildlife trade.