On July 3, police in the southern province of Dong Nai raided a residential home in Trang Bom District and caught a group of people in the process of butchering 43 sea turtles.
The freshly-killed turtles, the largest of which measured 78cm in length and the smallest at 43cm, were found being soaked in a tank of formaldehyde.
The police also seized seven more carcasses of sea turtles and 400 liters of formaldehyde at the private house of Nguyen Ngoc Dong Anh, the slaughterhouse’s owner.
Anh told police he has purchased sea turtles from an unidentified man in the southern province of Tien Giang since October, 2011.
The 28-year-old hired people to kill the animals for leather and their shells, which are made into jewelry and other items that are then sold to China.
Police have summoned the people involved for questioning and are classifying the types of turtles.