Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh has recently requested the Ministries of Public Security, National Defense, Finance, and Industry and Trade to intensify preventive measures and strictly handle the illegal smuggling of wild animals and plants.
According to some international experts, Vietnam is becoming a hot spot for smuggling and use of wildlife products in Southeast Asia. In addition, the country is also known as a major transshipment area in the region for wildlife products trading.
Many cases of transnational trade in large quantities of wild animal and plant products have been found. The use of ivory, rhino horn and the killing of wild species to serve banquets has become a bad habit in people's daily life.
Many species of wild animals are at risk of going extinct because of wildlife consumption, threatening biodiversity across the region.
According to statistics from the Supreme People's Court of Vietnam, in 2015-2017, the court handled 231 cases of infringement of regulations on wild and endangered animals involving 339 people – of whom eight were sentenced to 3-7 years in prison, and 96 received under-3-year imprisonment sentences. In other cases, the offenders are only fined, under non-custodial arrest or imprisoned but suspended.
If the above-mentioned actions took place before January 1, 2018, they will not be examined for penal liability, except for the purpose of trading and gaining illicit profits.