Smuggled pangolin scales discovered at Noi Bai airport

Wednesday, 2017-04-05 10:48:08
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Pangolin scales seized at Noi Bai International Airport
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NDO/VNA - Customs officers detected two consignments containing pangolin scales at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi on April 4.

The consignments were transported from Ghana to Noi Bai on February 27.

Of late, several consignments of pangolin scales have been uncovered at the airport, including one from Cameroon containing 357 kg of scales.

Though the traditional use of pangolin scales to treat blocked milk ducts is hyped by a plethora of websites, doctors of traditional medicine assert that scientific research has proven it to be ineffective.

In the past decade, a million pangolins have been hunted and sold worldwide, leading to a decline in its population.

According to the Centre of Hands-on Action and Networking for Growth and Environment (CHANGE) and WildAid (a US environmental organisation), Vietnam and China lead the global demand for pangolins.

Currently, eight species of pangolin are on the verge of extinction globally. The Asian pangolin population plummeted by 80% in just 21 years. Meanwhile, Vietnam’s two species — the Chinese and Sunda pangolins — are critically endangered.

Last July, Vietnam raised the penalty for illegal pangolin hunting and trading to 15 years of imprisonment.

In recent years, government agencies have bolstered their inspection strategies to nab violators.

In the past 10 years, the country’s authorities seized 54.8 tonnes of pangolins and 14.7 tonnes of scales.