Article originally appeared on TRAFFIC website: http://www.traffic.org/home/2009/1/19/hanois-environmental-police-record-largest-ever-seizure.html
More than two tonnes of illegal wildlife products seized in Dong Da district
Hanoi, Viet Nam, 19 January 2009—Hanoi’s Environmental Police have made their largest-ever seizure of wildlife products following the confiscation of more than two tonnes of bones from a store in Dong Da district, Hanoi, on 10 January.
Environmental Police first stopped a man transporting a set of tiger bones and ten kilograms of serow bones and horns by motorbike in Ba Dinh district. Following investigations, they raided the end destination of the products, a store belonging to Ms Nguyen Thi Thanh Tam, and discovered another set of tiger bones, six frozen pieces of tiger skin, seven bear paws, 16 bear gall bladders, six porcupine stomachs and 69 bags of bones from various wild animals. Her testimony led to a third and final arrest of a man manufacturing the tiger bone gel found in Ms Tam’s warehouse.
The discovery of a set of Tiger bones led to the largest ever seizure of wildlife products by Viet Nam's Envirnmental Police © Viet Nam Environmental Police
“While this case underscores the very serious threat that illegal trade poses to many of Viet Nam’s endangered wildlife populations, we continue to be impressed and encouraged by the good work that the Environmental Police are doing,” said Nguyen Dao Ngoc Van, Senior Projects Officer for TRAFFIC Southeast Asia’s Greater Mekong Programme.
The case is the latest in a string of major seizures, and reflects Hanoi’s improved enforcement capacity since the Environmental Police were established a division of the Hanoi Police Department in 2007. Since their establishment, the Environmental Police have handled 100 cases, one of them involving as large a quantity as 24 tons of frozen pangolin meat and scales and nearly thirty involving wild animals from leopard cats and civets to pythons and monitor lizards.
“The presence of the Environmental Police in Viet Nam will change illegal wildlife trade for the better,” Van noted.
Although Vietnam is a party to CITES, the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna, and national legislation is in place to protect many of its wildlife populations, trade in endangered wild plants and animals is widespread throughout the country.
For further information:
Lisa Kelley, Communications Officer, TRAFFIC Greater Mekong Programme Tel. +84 3 4 719 3116, E-mail: email@example.com
Nguyen Dao Ngoc Van, Senior Projects Officer for TRAFFIC Greater Mekong Programme (in Viet Nam) tel: +84 04 3 719 3116,
Richard Thomas, Communications Co-ordinator, TRAFFIC. Tel: +44 1223 279068, mob + 44 752 6646 216. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Below is a message that was written by Julie Trump, a volunteer who worked at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center and the bear at BSBCC last year. Julie fall in love immediately with the sun bears at the center after taking care of them during her stay at the center for sometime to learn more about them and their plights. After returning to her home country in UK, Julie has helped us setting up Bornean Sun Bear Conservation UK, a charity organization in UK that will help us fundraising and raise conservation awareness in UK. I would like to say a big THANK YOU to Julie and all of her friends who are helping us setting up BSBC-UK. I really hope this charity organization marks a new era of sun bear conservation in UK and the rest of the world!Long live the sun bears!
Since returning last summer from a second visit to Borneo and seeing the endearing sun bears again, I have been fund-raising in the UK to help in some way to raise, not only money but also awareness for the sun bears at Sepilok, in Sabah and try to help the good work of Siew Te Wong and the team for the BSBCC. I have been fortunate enough to have kept in contact with other ex-volunteers and bear fans as well as being introduced to others keen to help the cause by Siew Te Wong. Following his encouragement and support we now have a charity bank account for ‘Bornean Sun Bear Conservation UK’ with the aim of registering the charity with the UK Charities Commission this year. Towards the end of 2008 I ran in a sponsored half-marathon and organised a charity fashion sale and have two more events planned for this month and February. The other girls, Anna, Lindsey, Fiona and Rebecca are also planning events. All monies raised will be collected and transferred to the BSBCC in Borneo via the UK charity. It would be great if anyone out there would be interested in helping us with the charity, so please contact me at the following e-mail address if you would like to know more or have any ideas or donations.
E-mail Julie Trump, Newbury Park, Essex at:
Julie was at the front page of the Metro after winning a medal in the Half Marathon where she proudly wore BSBCC T-shirt and successfully raised £500.
The half-marathon was 'The Royal Parks Half-Marathon' that took place for the first time last year on Sunday 12th October through London, mostly around Hyde Park and also past Buckingham Palace and across the River Thames.
Thanks to Julie for all of her hard works to help the sun bears!