Tay Ninh customs save smuggled wild animals

Tay Ninh’s Forest Management Department said on October 6 it was completing procedures to hand two Mustela putorius weasels and two Manouria emys turtles to the Kien Giang forest management department’s Wild Animal Rescue Centre.

On September 9, the rare wild animals, and four African iguanas, which were dead, were found hidden in the luggage of Vuong Vinh Phat, 20, residing in District 10, Ho Chi Minh City, when he underwent customs check at the Moc Bai International Border Gate. 

Phat, who returned from Cambodia, neither declared the animals to customs officers nor had any documents about the origin of animals. 

He said he bought weasels and turtles in Bangkok, Thailand, to sell in HCM City. 

In 2014, Phat was also fined for the same violation.

The trafficking of wildlife into Vietnam has recently become more complicated than before, occurring concurrently on road and by sea and air, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

The Vietnam CITES Management Authority under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said Vietnam is used as one of the wildlife trading and transporting routes from Africa and other Southeast Asian nations to consumption markets.