Police in the central province of Nghe An have handed over 23 rare turtles confiscated in a bribery case to a wildlife rescue center, Dan Tri reported Sunday.
The reptiles given to the Pu Mat National Park's rescue center were big-headed turtles (Platysternon megacephalum) and yellow-headed temple turtles (Heosemys annandalii), both protected from hunting under Vietnamese laws, the news website said.
Also that day Nghe An police destroyed ten dead turtles and nine kilograms of rotten fox legs, it said.
According to Dan Tri, four officials from the provincial market management agency confiscated the wildlife from Bui Tien Thi on October 4, while the latter was transporting them in two sacks.
After the bust, the officials called Thi, asking him to pay VND35 million (US$1,600) to get the wildlife back. The man then asked them to decrease the demanded amount, but was refused.
The officials were caught red-handed receiving the money from Thi later that same day.
They are now in police custody and are being investigated on suspicion of accepting bribes, the news report said.
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