Wildlife trade hub Vietnam is also hub of impunity for traffickers, report says

Wildlife trade hub Vietnam is also hub of impunity for traffickers, report says

Only 14% of wildlife seizures made in Vietnam in the past decade have resulted in convictions, according to a new report that highlights the weak enforcement in the country and lack of coordination between its agencies in following up on investigations. The report, published by the U.K.-based Environmental Investigation Agency, revealed that of at least 120 seizures of rhino horns, pangolin scales and elephant ivory made in Vietnam since 2010, only 17 cases led to convictions, or just one in every seven cases. Half of the shipments originated from African countries, underscoring Vietnam’s status as an import hub for illegal wildlife products from the continent, it added. Although pandemic restrictions dampened trafficking activity last year, transnational wildlife crime networks continued operating, “taking advantage of the disruption and quickly adapting to global developments,” the researchers wrote. Ivory items on sale in Vietnam, which is a major import hub for illegal wildlife products from Africa. Image courtesy of TRAFFIC. The illegal wildlife trade is a key contributor to global biodiversity decline, reducing wild populations while fueling local extinctions. With pandemic-related restrictions now easing, the worry is that the cross-border wildlife trade will come roaring back. After lockdown measures were lifted in South Africa, the number of rhinos lost to poaching surged by 50% in the first six months of this year compared with 2020. In Nigeria, three major seizures since January, one of which was destined for Vietnam, have netted 19 metric tons of ivory and pangolin scales. Vietnamese wildlife crime networks…This article was originally published on Mongabay

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