Vietnam Jails Ivory, Rhino Horn Trafficker For 12 Years
November 21, 2023
Vietnam has sentenced a man to 12 years in jail for smuggling rhino horns
and elephant ivory from Angola, said a wildlife protection group, adding
that strict penalties were a key deterrent.
The Southeast Asian nation is a transport hub for illegal wildlife in Asia,
as well as being a significant consumer.
Ninh Ba Dien, 36, was hired by an anonymous person to deliver two packages
of goods containing nearly 12 kilograms of rhino horn and five kilograms of
elephant ivory from the African country, according to Education for Nature
One of the packages was confiscated while Dien transited in Qatar, and he
was then detained at Hanoi's Noi Bai airport in April.
He was sentenced by the Hanoi People's Court on Monday.
Vietnam and China remain lucrative markets for elephant tusks, pangolins,
tiger parts and rhino horns, frequently used in traditional medicine across
parts of Asia despite a lack of peer-reviewed scientific evidence that they
have any medicinal properties.
Although the trade is illegal, environmentalists say the law is not always
However, EVN vice director Bui Thi Ha said the organisation had recently
"been very pleased to see many strict penalties applied by the Hanoi
People's Court to wildlife offenders".
"Wildlife traffickers will only be deterred by increasing the legal risks
associated with the illegal wildlife trade," she added.
More than 60 tonnes of ivory, pangolin scales and rhino horns have been
seized at major Vietnamese shipping ports since 2018, according to a 2021
report by ENV.
In February, a Vietnamese court jailed a man for 13 years for trafficking
nearly 10 tonnes of rhino horns, pangolin scales and other banned wildlife
products from Africa.
In 2021, a man who smuggled nearly 130 kilograms of rhino horns from Dubai
to Vietnam was sentenced to 14 years in jail, the longest sentence recorded
in the country for a wildlife trafficking conviction.