Railway staff detained for illegally transporting 17 Critically Endangered Box Turtles in Vietnam

At 20:00hrs on the 2nd of June 2021, Railway Patrol Staff at Hanoi Railway Station, Vietnam, became suspicious of a man carrying a cardboard box covered in a sack. Upon investigation alongside local police, they discovered that the box contained 17 critically endangered Box Turtles. Early reports suggested these were Bourret’s Box Turtles (Cuora bourreti), however, following the confiscation these were fully identified as Southern Vietnamese Box Turtle (Cuora picturata).

This species is listed as critically endangered under the IUCN Red List. It is protected in Vietnam under Decree 06/2019/ND-CP and Decree 160/2013/ND-CP (amended and supplemented by Decree 64/2019/ND-CP) as well as CITES Appendix I.

After being detained, the man (Dau Quang N, born 1989) confessed to working as a Phuong Nam Railway attendant [under the Sai Gon Railway Company]. He had been hired to transport the turtles for a man named Linh from Da Nang City Railway Station, in Central Vietnam, to Hanoi. The animals were to be transferred to a bus travelling to Mong Cai City, Quang Ninh province, Vietnam, a key city on the Vietnam-China border. It is highly likely the intention was for these animals to continue along the wildlife trade route into China, still believed to be the end destination for much of the turtle trade from Vietnam.

Support has been made by the ATP/IMC for these animals at the Hanoi Wildlife Rescue Centre while we work on options for the placement or release of these animals in the near future.

Read more here: www.csgt.vn

4th June 2021
Press Release by: Bich Kieu – ATP/IMC

The Railway Patrol staff and police were delighted to uncover this illegal turtle trade activity. Photo credit: csgt.vn

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