Police in the central province of Nghe An have bust a wildlife trafficking ring and arrested three people for smuggling one frozen tiger and eight frozen monkeys.
The tiger weighs 140 kilograms and the eight monkeys weigh 70 kg in total, police said.
Nguyen Dac Phu, 19, and his cousin Nguyen Dac Sung, 51 were caught while carrying three of the monkeys in two bags.
Further investigation led to the arrest of Phu's mother Nguyen Thi Nhuong, 45, and the seizure of the tiger, the remaining monkeys and an amount of unidentified animal bones.
Nhuong confessed she began trading animal bones in 2007.
She bought the frozen animals from an unidentified man in the province to resell for profit. She paid VND150,000 per kilogram for the monkeys.
Nhuong said she couldn’t afford the tiger, which had been offered to her at VND700 million (US$32,830). So she only helped the man sell it, for a commission of VND20 million.
Police are expanding investigation.
In Vietnam, products made of tiger body parts, including bone paste, are believed by some to have medicinal properties.
It is illegal to hunt, kill or trade the animal or advertise products made from its body parts.