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Back in 2012, Vietnamese Customs at Da Nang airport exposed a major ivory trafficking case; 70 kilograms of elephant tusks were discovered during an inspection of two suspicious suitcases. After initial investigations, the owner of the two cases admitted that he had been hired by another man to traffic these illegal wildlife products from Angola.
Since the initial reporting of this case, ENV has monitored the situation to ensure that the trafficker is dealt with according to Vietnamese law. On February 21 2014, the subject was prosecuted with “Trafficking illegal products across the border”, and sentenced to nearly nine months in prison. However, more work is needed to ensure that the kingpins and networks which are behind such crimes are brought to justice; only when the real criminal leaders are caught (and consumer demand is reduced) can the illegal wildlife trade be stopped.
Photo of the trafficker. Photo courtesy of cand.com.vn