The subjects were sentenced to 12 and 10 years in prison for illegally storing and trading 39 tortoiseshell specimens – a precious sea turtle in Vietnam.
On June 18, the People’s Court of Go Dau district (Tay Ninh province) opened a first-instance court hearing the most prominent case of trading in sea turtle specimens discovered in 2020. Penalty for the subjects in the case for a total of 22 years.
The two defendants, Phun Nhit Tac (Tay Ninh) and Tran Minh Lanh (Bac Lieu) were respectively sentenced to 12 years in prison and 10 years in prison for illegally storing and trading 39 tortoiseshell specimens.
Tortoise (Eretmochelys imbricata) is an endangered, precious, and rare wild animal listed in the List of endangered precious and rare species prioritized for protection under Decree 160/2013/ND-CP (amended and supplemented by Decree 64/2019/ND-CP) – the highest level of protection under Vietnamese law.
The subjects took advantage of social networks to regularly post, advertise, and illegally sell many rare and precious wildlife species. This is also the focal point for providing wildlife animals for customers in China and neighboring countries.
With the act of illegally possessing and trading 39 tortoiseshell specimens, the two subjects were eligible to constitute a crime of violating regulations on the protection of endangered and rare animals as prescribed in Clause 3, Article 244 of the Code. Criminals 2015, amended and supplemented in 2017 with a penalty of up to 15 years in prison for individuals.
Previously, on December 24, 2020, after receiving people’s reports via the Wildlife Protection Toll-Free Hotline, the Environmental Police Department, Tay Ninh Provincial Police, had conducted an inspection and seized 39 large-sized tortoiseshell specimens being prepared to be sold.
This is believed to be the largest trade in sea turtle specimens recorded in 2020. The case has the most significant sea turtles discovered in the past 7 years across the country.
According to Vietnamplus newspaper