Last week, Vietnamese news on cand.com.vn reported a serious crocodile trafficking case in Soc Trang province in the Mekong Delta of southern Vietnam. At midnight on September 18, the local Forest Protection, Traffic Police and Environmental Police authorities intercepted a suspicious bus heading toward Ho Chi Minh City. They discovered seven boxes containing 316 pieces of crocodile skin and 112 frozen baby crocodiles without any certificate of origin.
The owner of the goods admitted he had bought them from a man in Soc Trang for 125 million VND, and had been intending to sell them to crocodile skin tanning companies in Ho Chi Minh City. He was fined and the goods were confiscated.
Crocodiles are protected under CITES (Appendix I) and Decree 32 (Group IIB) under Vietnamese law. Any scientific research, conservation or commercial exploitation of the species must be formally sanctioned by authorities.
Photos courtesy of cand.com.vn and nguoiduatin.vn