Thursday, March 14, 2019

Malaysia jails two Vietnamese, one for 19 years, for possessing wildlife parts

Two Vietnamese men have been jailed for 19 years and six years in Malaysia for possessing body parts of threatened wildlife species.

Animal conservation website TRAFFIC reported Wednesday that Tran Van Sang, was sentenced to 19 years by the Kuala Kangsar Sessions Court on 10 charges under the Wildlife Conservation Act.

He had been arrested in August 2017 in Sungai Siput town for possessing 273 body parts from tigers, leopards, cloud leopards, sun bears and sambar deer. All except sambar are classified as Totally Protected Species under Malaysian law.

Ho Van Kien, 40, besides a jail sentence, also received a fine of $100,000 on six charges of illegally possessing tiger, leopard and sun bear parts.

He has been arrested last July in an industrial area in Kuala Lupis, Pahang State, along with five other Vietnamese. But the five have been granted discharge not amounting to acquittal by the court.

At least 15 Vietnamese nationals were arrested in Malaysia for tiger-related crimes between 2016 and 2018, TRAFFIC said.

Vietnam is a hotspot for illegal wildlife trafficking, with products like elephant ivory, tiger bones, pangolin scales and bear bile prized locally for decorative purposes and medicinal properties though modern science has provided no proof of their medicinal qualities yet.

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