Alleged Vietnamese Wildlife Trafficker Arrested In South Africa For Illegal Possession Of Lion Teeth, Claws, & Suspected Gelatin

A Vietnamese national has been arrested in connection with the illegal trade of wildlife and possession of a firearm following a raid in Bela-Bela and Pretoria, South Africa, on August 12th.

According to a statement from the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, the investigative team seized 4.19kg of lion teeth, 680g of lion claws, and more than 60kg of processed animal products believed to be lion gelatin.

The criminal has since been charged with illegal possession of a threatened species as per the National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act.

The arrest of the suspect came after a four-month investigation involving analysts and wildlife investigators. The integrated team involved in the raid comprised of the Green Scorpions from the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, the Limpopo Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism (LEDET), the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (GDARD), and SANParks, as well as members of the South African Police Service.

Search and seizure warrants were executed simultaneously at a Vietnamese-owned farm near Bela-Bela in Limpopo, as well as at two storage units in Pretoria.

While the suspect appeared in the Bela-Bela Regional Court on Friday, the case has been postponed to August 20th.

The collaborative nature of this operation has once again proven the importance of an integrated approach to investigations. The valuable assistance of the private sector in this matter is also highly appreciated.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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