Police in Ha Tinh Province in central Vietnam found hundreds of dogs trapped in tight cages and confiscated many sharp weapons during predawn raids into a massive dog theft gang on Friday.
Around 50 officers busted different posts of the long-time running syndicate at around 3:30 a.m., seizing knives and stun guns among many weapons used to snatch dogs in the area.
A police photo shows weapons confiscated from a dog theft gang in Ha Tinh Province on Friday.
Initial investigation found the operation was run by Doan Van Loc, 64, and Luong Sy Mai, 50, and has stolen thousands of dogs since late 2017. The gang managed to snatched more than 10 dogs every night on average and sold them to dealers or directly to restaurants. Some would be resold as pets for VND5-7 million ($218-306).
Police are questionng Loc, Mai and nine other gang members for possible criminal charges.
It's not clear what will happen to the dogs.
Dog theft is rarely treated as a criminal offense in Vietnam, unless the stolen dogs are valued more than VND2 million, less than $100.
The act is agonized by the large public in the country, which is also home to a market that consumes an estimated five million dogs per year, second only to China, which eats roughly 20 million.
Many of the dogs are stolen pets sold to small, unregulated abattoirs and killed in brutal ways.
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