2 Pangolin Smugglers Caught in Vietnam

There have been at least four pangolin trafficking incidents in Vietnam during the first six months of 2014. PHOTO: Nguyen Hoang, VietNamNews.vn
There have been at least four pangolin trafficking incidents in Vietnam during the first six months of 2014. PHOTO: Nguyen Hoang, VietNamNews.vn

Custom Control officials in Vietnam’s Quảng Ninh Province have nabbed two pangolin traffickers and seized 220 kg of pangolins from a vehicle.

The pair was caught while entering the Bãi Cháy area of Hạ Long Bay. They were identified as Bui Van Nghiep and Le Thanh Nghi, both residents of Móng Cái, according to VietNamNews.vn.

Since the beginning of 2014, nearly four tons of pangolin scales and more than 1200 individual pangolins have been confiscated from wildlife traffickers across six Asian countries. At least four seizures, including this one, occurred in Vietnam.

Pangolins (including fetuses) and their scales are consumed in China, where the scales are used in traditional Chinese medicine and the meat is eaten as a delicacy. However, there are no proven health benefits to consuming pangolin scales, which are comprised of keratin, the same as nails and hair.


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Rhishja Cota-Larson

I am the founder of Annamiticus, and I work as an independent Wildlife Trade and Communication Design Consultant. I have journeyed to the streets of Hanoi to research the illegal wildlife trade, and to the rainforests of Sumatra and Java to document the world’s rarest rhinos. I am a Co-Chair of the SSN Pangolin Working Group. At CITES meetings, I collaborate with colleagues from around the world to lobby in favor of protecting endangered species. I am a Wildlife Trade and Trafficking Consultant for the upcoming documentary The Price, the host of Behind the Schemes and author of the book Murder, Myths & Medicine. I enjoy desert gardening, herping, reading, designing, and walking with my dogs.