The police said the bodies were discovered in a car in the parking lot of a building on Xuan Thuy Street in Cau Giay District on Tuesday.
Seven tiger carcasses that police found in a car inside a parking garage in Hanoi, July 23, 2019. Photo acquired by VnExpress.
An investigation found Nguyen Huu Hue, 52, Phan Van Vui, 34, and Ho Anh Tu, 28, were part of a gang that had been trafficking tiger carcasses from Laos to Vietnam for several years.
Hue, director of a local service and commerce company, used his business as a front for the trafficking and was the alleged kingpin. He would go to Laos to buy tiger carcasses, freeze them and transporting them to Vietnam. Each could weigh up to 300 kilograms, authorities said.
The ring has been busted several times in the past in various places, but Hue’s underlings would always take the fall for him.
Tiger bones are used in Vietnam to make traditional medicine to treat bone- and joint-related ailments. Tigers are also bought for their meat, skin and claws in Vietnam.
Vietnam may have very few tigers left in the wild. Between 2006 and September 2016, locally-based conservation group Education for Nature-Vietnam said they investigated 971 cases of trading, transporting, selling, and advertising of tigers or tiger products and helped rescue 14 animals alive and confiscate 69 carcasses.
A report from the World Wildlife Fund in 2016 said Vietnam had five tigers in the wild, down from 30 in 2011.
Violation of regulations on protection of endangered animals is punishable by up to seven years in jail.
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