BANGKOK: The Freeland Foundation, a national organisation dedicated to stopping illegal wildlife trade and human slavery, congratulated French customs this week for seizing endangered animal body parts originating in West Africa en-route to Vietnam.
The seizure of 50 kilograms of pangolin scales this week at Charles De Gaulle Airport was the third this month by French customs, representing the deaths of up to 400 pangolins, which are endangered ant-eaters, prized for their meat and skin as food and medicine in Asian black markets.
Freeland Foundation believes the lucrative illegal trade in pangolins is run by criminals based in Southeast Asia, who are also involved in poaching and trafficking of elephants, primates, tigers, leopards, lions, rhinos, and other rare and endangered species.
One kilogram of dried pangolin scales can fetch US$500 (B15,000) in Vietnam or China, while one full body can fetch over US$2,000 (B59,000). The shipment seized by the French was en-route to Vietnam.