Six Vietnamese nationals, who were detained in South Africa in 2018 for violating the country’s biodiversity act on protection of threatened species, left the country for home on June 30 after performing their obligations to the court’s rulings.
|A lion at Kruger Park, South Africa (Photo: AFP) |
South Africa’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, commonly known as Hawks, announced on November 25, 2018 that six Vietnamese were nabbed while driving in a convoy in Klerksdorp, the North West Province, which is about 250 kilometres to the northwest of the capital Pretoria.
A search of the vehicles found a large quantity of freshly cut lion meat and bones, a tiger skin and bonds, gas cylinders, gas burners, containers, a saw, knives, and other equipment used to process predator carcasses and bones.
The syndicate members were charged with illegal possession of game products, particularly lion parts and a tiger carcass, without a permit, and carrying out restricted activities involving the specimen of a listed, threatened or protected species.
Five among them committed offence, and agreed to pay 8,000-50,000 Rand (567-3,545 USD) in fine in lieu of imprison. Charges against the remainder were withdrawn at the court’s trial on June 28, 2019.
The Vietnamese Embassy in South Africa kept a close watch on the case, sent representatives to attend trials, and sent diplomatic notes to competent authorities in the host nation to protect legitimate rights of the Vietnamese citizens when they were remanded in custody for seven months.
Vietnamese Ambassador to South Africa Vu Van Dung said that the embassy repeated its warning to all Vietnamese visitors to South Africa and those living in the host nation to comply with local and Vietnamese law, and not to commit any activities that harm Vietnam’s prestige.