Cambodian police said they arrested two Vietnamese men on Monday who were trying to smuggle almost 80 kilograms (176 pounds) of illegal ivory from Africa.
Deputy provincial police chief Um Amra said the two men were caught with the elephant tusks after arriving in the northwestern town of Siem Reap on a flight from South Korea. He said the ivory was originally shipped from Angola, and the men said they planned to sell it in Vietnam.
The Police Department of Environmental Crime Prevention (PC49) provided information that the unit of Quang Nam Provincial Police coordinating with the provincial Market Management, ranger of Nui Thanh district detected a new base of wildlife trading. Through checking the trading business of cattle and poultry meat, the authorities detected six wildlife individuals that had been butchered, frozen, waiting for consumption.
On the Internet, the man named Manh advertised: “I want to sell an Asian rhino horn at VND 40 million. My family works in traditional medicine sector, so I want to share it with those who care for his and his family’s health. For more information, please contact 0906106xxx.... all transactions are at my home. Don’t worry, it is not illegal to use rhino horn in traditional medicine!” Immediately, there are hundreds of comments showing the reader’s concern for it.
In Vietnam, according to traditional medicine practice and traditional Chinese medicines (TCM) rhino horns have long been considered as such panacea along with other drugs like tiger bone glue, bear bile, dear antler velvet and salanganes’ nests.
As a consequence, many people want to purchase rhino horns since they believe in its miraculous effects to cure sick patients. As googling some key words such as “buying rhino horns”, “buying real rhino horns in Hanoi”, you will find so many articles relating as well as advertising for sales of rhino horns on website forums.
There are thousands of jubliant festivals in Vietnam taking place every year but only the festival held in Perfume Pagoda (My Duc, Hanoi) is notorious for a knotty problem of wild animal hunting and trading directly. Why vice minister of the ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism, vice chairman of Hanoi people’s committee and many other organizations are not able to inhibit this cruel business? The underlying reason for this, which everyone knows but no one dares to speak out, is “money”. It is said that the rent of these restaurants are up to tens or hundreds of million VND in the festival.
Vietnamese customs examined a clothing container sent from France, destined for Hanoi, but which was mistakenly sent to Ho Chi Minh city. Customs found the container suspicious as it seemed to be heavier than usual. Instead of sending it to its destination in Hanoi, they did a careful check on the container.
3 pieces of ivory, weighing more than 4 kg, were discovered.