Vietnamese sent to prison for poaching tiger in Thailand

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A Vietnamese man has been sentenced to four years in prison for poaching a tiger in Thailand last year, VnExpress quoted the US-based World Conservation Society (WCS) as saying Friday.

The man, whose identity was not revealed, was sentenced by a Thai court last month, the newswire said, adding that his Thai accomplice, meanwhile, received a five-year jail term.

The sentences are the most severe punishments for wildlife poaching to ever be handed down in Thailand, the WCS said.

When they were arrested last July with cell phone photos of themselves posing over the dead tiger with shotguns in hand, the poachers claimed to have killed the tiger in Myanmar.

However, the tiger was soon identified by its stripe pattern as one which had been tracked by WCS conservationists in Thailand, according to the organization.

Dr. Scott Roberton, director of the WCS branch in Vietnam, told VnExpress that the case was consistent with his organization's recent findings which establish that Vietnam is becoming an entrepôt for international wildlife trade rings.

He expressed hope that Vietnam will introduce strict punishments for wildlife-related crimes, the newswire reported.

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