Vietnam customs officials said Monday they had seized about five tonnes of frozen pangolin meat, a protected species whose trade is illegal.
The 270 boxes of pangolin meat were found Friday in northern Quang Ninh province, said an official at the Cai Lan port customs office, asking not to be named. Officials suspected the cargo was on its way to China, she said.
Another source at the port’s customs office, who also asked not to be named, said the meat came from 1,481 pangolins.
Pangolins, also known as scaly anteaters, are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora and trading of the animal and its products is illegal.
Demand for pangolin meat, with its supposedly medicinal and aphrodisiac qualities, is widespread in China and in Vietnam, which has a poor conservation record.