Vietnamese charged as Czech police find shot tiger
Czech police had charged a Vietnamese and two other men with illegal wildlife trade after they found a dead tiger used in traditional Chinese medicine.
The tiger was discovered alongside tiger skins and the frozen carcasses of other protected species including a beaver and a kingfisher during a police raid on Monday targeting several locations across the Czech Republic, police said on Tuesday.
“We found four processed tiger skins, a boiler for the bones, ten tiger claws,” Robert Slachta, chief investigator at the Customs Directorate, told reporters.
Police said the organizer was a 56-year-old Vietnamese man, who is a former circus owner, while the other two were Czechs aged 35 and 67.
Media said the tigers were bred by the 67-year-old man whom they identified as Ludvik Berousek from a renowned Czech circus family.
The youngest man allegedly processed the slain animals to produce Chinese medicine products.
“All parts of the tigers were processed,” Slachta said.
The Vietnamese organizer then bought the animals and parts to sell across the Czech Republic and the EU but also in Vietnam.
The raid also targeted the Vietnamese SAPA market in a southern Prague suburb.
Slachta said the men sold a whole tiger for 3,900-5,800 euros ($4,500-6,750), while skins cost 2,000-3,900 euros.
“One claw cost 100 euros,” he added.
If convicted, the men face up to eight years in prison.