By Leya Musa
An ambulance has been used to smuggle live pangolins from Ho Chi Minh City. The vehicle had been stopped by suspicious traffic police and when the ambulance was examined it was found to be containing 49 live pangolins. The driver said he was to deliver them to a northern province.
Pangolins are protected species and growing increasingly rare as they are also a delicacy among some asian. The scales are also used in traditional medicines and potions.
The haul from the ambulance weighed 256kg and is small to some recent seizures. Just 2 months ago over 6 tons of pangolins were intercepted being imported into the country from Indonesia. Late last year more than 10 tons were confiscated in a raid.
Traffic officers had flagged the ambulance down to undertake routine checks but the driver Le Van Tung, 26, of central Nghe An Province chose to avoid the checks. A police chase followed and eventually the ambulance was bought to a halt and the driver arrested.
Despite the pangolins being in a poor condition from the transport they are now to be sold to registered wildlife breeders.