Smuggled pangolin scales discovered at Noi Bai airport hinh anh 1Pangolin scales - Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Customs officers detected two consignments containing pangolin scales at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi on April 4.

The consignments were transported from Ghana to Noi Bai on February 27.

Recently, many consignments of pangolin scales were uncovered at the airport, including one from Cameroon containing 357 kg of scales.

The traditional use of pangolin scales to treat blocked milk ducts is touted by a number of websites online, but doctors of traditional medicine said scientific research proves that it is ineffective.

In the past decade, one million pangolins were hunted and sold worldwide, leading to a decline in pangolin population. Vietnam and China lead the global demand for pangolins, according to the Centre of Hands-on Action and Networking for Growth and Environment (CHANGE) and WildAid, a US environmental organisation.

In the world, eight species of pangolin are on the edge of extinction. The Asian pangolin population plummeted by 80 percent in just 21 years. Vietnam’s two species, the Chinese and Sunda pangolins, are critically endangered.

Last July, Vietnam raised the penalty for illegal pangolin hunting and trading to 15 years in prison. Government agencies in recent years have strengthened their inspections and seized trafficked pangolins. In the past 10 years, the country’s authorities seized 54.8 tonnes of pangolins and 14.7 tonnes of scales.-VNA