Authorities in the southern province of Dong Nai on Wednesday destroyed 50 undocumented sea turtles which were found slaughtered at the home of a local man in July.
According to local authorities, 43 of the turtles had already been killed and were about to be soaked in formaldehyde to make into decorations when police raided the home of Nguyen Ngoc Dong Anh, 28, on July 3.
Seven others, meanwhile, had already been made into products, authorities said, adding that police also found more than 400 liters of formaldehyde at the house.
Earlier, Tuoi Tre quoted Anh as telling police that he had been buying the turtles from a person in the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang since last October.
He then hired people to slaughter and process the turtles before selling them both locally and to China, according to the news report.
Five of the world's seven species of sea turtles found in Vietnam are the loggerhead (Caretta caretta), the green turtle (Chelonia mydas), the leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), the hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) and the olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea).
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the loggerhead and green turtles are "endangered," while the hawksbill and leatherback turtles are considered "critically endangered."
The group identifies the olive ridley as "vulnerable."
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