Wildlife Crime Unit

loris handover to env 17 april 06 14 500x334ENV’s Wildlife Crime Unit (WCU) was established in 2005 to facilitate and motivate public involvement in combating the wildlife trade while improving the effectiveness of law enforcement’s response to wildlife crime.


As of February 2020, the WCU has documented more than 13,000 wildlife crime cases. Since 2005, thousands of animals have been confiscated as a direct result of ENV’s cooperation with law enforcement, along with fines administered to violators, advertisements and menus removed, businesses sanctioned, and markets closed.  ENV’s work on wildlife crime is widely credited as having helped transform the quality of wildlife protection enforcement in Vietnam through promoting greater transparency in enforcement and a sustained level of support and attention on wildlife crime.


Wildlife Crime Hotline – 1800 1522

The WCU administers a national toll-free hotline for reporting of wildlife crimes. Information reported to ENV through the hotline is passed on to the appropriate authorities. ENV then works closely with law enforcement agencies, tracking each case through to conclusion, and documenting the results on ENV’s secure web-based Wildlife Crime Database. The WCU strives to achieve a successful outcome for each case, helping coordinate placement of animals, providing advice to the authorities, and encouraging bold action that would serve to deter future crime. Read more about our success stories.


sd 3298 the wild cat voluntarily transferred apr 18 2011 ms. tam-r 500x458Wildlife Trade Monitoring

The WCU runs a growing national network of nearly 7,400 volunteers in 59 provinces, who assist with monitoring and surveying consumer wildlife trade hotspots in urban centers throughout Vietnam.

“Compliance monitoring” involves inspections of business establishments where violations have been previously reported by the public; or through surveys to ensure that owners are in compliance with the law following a previous enforcement intervention coordinated by ENV.  Restaurants and other businesses that fail to meet compliance following inspection are subject to further action until full compliance is achieved. Learn more about wildlife crimes in Vietnam.  



A special team works exclusively on investigations, providing valuable information and support to law enforcement agencies and profiling major criminal networks behind the wildlife trade.

Due to the sensitive and ongoing nature of investigations, ENV’s work in this area cannot be publicized. However, current investigations focus on networks supporting illegal transnational trade of tigers, bears, rhino horn, elephant ivory, pangolins, marine turtles, and douc langurs. Other ENV investigations are examining such complex issues such as wildlife farming, and profiling some of ENV’s top ten suspected wildlife traffickers.