Seized tiger jawbones

Suspected captive-bred tiger trade kingpin to go on trial in Vietnam

EIA and 30 other organisations have today sent a joint letter to the Prime Minister of Vietnam, congratulating enforcement agencies on the landmark arrest of suspected tiger trade kingpin Nguyen Mau Chien. The trial of Mau Chien is due to begin next week.

.Our letter is sent in support of the 16 non-governmental and inter-governmental organisations working in Vietnam who last week called for “bold action”.

Mau Chien has operated a captive tiger facility in Vietnam since 2006 and is suspected of engaging in illegal trade in tigers through this facility. His facility is profiled in EIA’s report Cultivating Demand: The Growing Threat of Tiger Farms, which sets out the serious threat posed to wild tigers and other big cats by commercial breeding and trade in captive-bred tigers.

His network is also suspected of conducting illegal wildlife trade at a global scale, including trafficking in ivory, rhino horn and pangolin into Vietnam.

The arrest of Mau Chien is hugely significant as it represents the capture of an alleged senior figure in the network – an essential factor in efforts to effectively tackle illegal wildlife trade.

We will be now following proceedings in Vietnam closely and hope to see Vietnam’s criminal justice system treating wildlife crime as seriously as it deserves.

Read the letter in full in English here and in Vietnamese here.