The five convicted poachers at court (Photo: congan.com.vn)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Con Cuong district People’s Court in the central province of Nghe An has sentenced five local poachers to a total of 13 years and six months in prison for violating regulations on protection of endangered, precious and rare animals.

At a mobile trial on June 25, Lo Van Hang and Vieng Van Thuy got four and three years in prison, respectively, Vieng Van Sinh was sentenced to 30 months and Lo Van Hau and Vi Van Hai got 24 months in prison each.

According to the verdict, on January 9, 2019, the men took handmade guns and traps into the Pu Mat National Park in Con Cuong district’s Chau Khe commune to hunt wild animals. Two days later, Hang and Sinh spotted two Phayre's langurs. Hang shot dead both langurs and kept them in their tent. The same day, forest rangers of the park discovered the two dead langurs, five flintlock pistols, five knives and several traps at the poachers’ tent along with dried boar meat and a live boar.

The five were prosecuted for violating the regulations on management and protection of endangered, precious and rare animals according to Article 244 of the Criminal Code 2015.

Nguyen Van Thai, Executive Director of Save Vietnam’s Wildlife organisation, said this was the first criminally prosecuted case of wild animal hunting in the park since 2005.

Tran Xuan Cuong, head of the park, said forest rangers and forest protection groups will intensify patrols around the area, adding that the park has held 12 training classes for local residents on the laws on forest protection since late 2018.

Phayre's langur is listed as endangered by the International Union for Conversation of Nature (IUCN). The mammal is endemic to Southeast Asia.

Many Vietnamese people kill wild animals for food. Hunting, caging, trading, transporting or killing protected wild animals are all prohibited under Vietnamese law.-VNA