Border guards in Quang Tri Province are investigating a Chinese and a Vietnamese who have asked locals to help them hunt earthworms using a yet-to-be-identified chemical substance.
The men reportedly came to a remote area of the central province on Wednesday. They gathered a group of locals and showed them how to use the white chemical to force earthworms out of their soil homes.
Locals said the men did not tell them why they wanted the crawler. But they reportedly offered to pay 35 US cents for each kilo of the worm.
Ho Van Coi, a local, said the strangers’ actions are “dubious.”
A pack of chemical powder that two strangers mixed in water and poured into the ground in Quang Tri Province to make earthworms crawl up. Photo: Nguyen Phuc
“We all know that soil without earthworms is no longer arable,” Coi said.
The men were summoned to a border guard station in the area on Thursday and tried to bribe their way out but failed.
They introduced themselves as Le Van Cuong, 25, from the northern province of Bac Giang, and Gan Deqiang, 40, from Guangxi.
Deqiang said they needed “to make a kind of weight gain drug for animals.”
Border guard officials are still detaining the duo for investgation.
They said they will fine the Chinese, who carried a tourist visa, for unauthorized activity.
They will check the chemical and may issue further punishments for environmental violations.