The People’s Court of Dak Lak province upheld the 18-month prison sentence for Le Viet Phat for “Violating regulations on the protection of endangered, precious and rare animals”.
On February 6, 2023, the People’s Court of Dak Lak province opened an appellate criminal trial on the basis of Le Viet Phat’s appeal to reduce the punishment and decided to uphold the first-instance criminal judgment. sentenced the subject to 18 months in prison for the crime of “violating regulations on the protection of endangered, precious, and rare animals”.
Previously, on June 23, 2022, the police of Lak district discovered that Le Viet Phat (residing in Duong Bac village, Yang Tao commune, Lak district, Dak Lak province) had illegally traded 0.38 kg golden pangolin scales and 03 Tibetan bear hooves. Continuing to search the subject’s private house, the authorities discovered many wild animal claws being illegally possessed.
Golden pangolin (Manis pentadactyla) and Tibetan bear (Ursus thibetanus) are wild animals of the mammal class listed in the List of endangered precious and rare species prioritized for protection promulgated together with Decree 64/2019 /ND-CP – the highest level of protection according to Vietnamese law. According to the provisions of Clause 1, Article 244 of the Penal Code 2015 (amended and supplemented 2017), the illegal trading and/or possession of products of these species by Le Viet Phat can be punished by imprisonment. from 01 to 05 years or fined from 500 million to 2 billion VND.
Subject Le Viet Phat posted for sale products from endangered, precious and rare wild animals on social networking accounts Facebook, and TikTok since 2021. Therefore, in the first-instance criminal trial on the 18th. On November 11, 2022, the People’s Court of Lak district decided to sentence Le Viet Phat to 18 months in prison and destroy all exhibits that are products of wild animals.
In recent years, the situation of advertising and trading wild animals in cyberspace has become very complicated. In 2022 alone, the Education for Nature Center (ENV) recorded 1,686 cases of wildlife violations on the Internet. The strict handling of violators in accordance with the law will contribute to deterring and preventing others from continuing to trade wild animals in cyberspace illegally.