Eight people were arrested in Vietnam’s central province of Ha Tinh on Wednesday for stealing pet cats using nets and tasers to sell to restaurants.
To Thi Thuy, 48, Nguyen Xuan Mai, 41, Phan Quoc Thanh, 44, Nguyen Dinh Bao, 18, Nguyen Dinh Cuong, 20, Nguyen Truong, 29, To Van Dinh, 31 and Vo Quang Long, 33, were arrested by police of Can Loc District on charges of theft.
According to police, Thuy purchased a truck and formed a cat-trade ring this month to supply restaurants. The group used makeshift weapons and tools like knives, swords and nets to nab the pet cats in Can Loc, typically deep into the night or near dawn.
It took them only 30 seconds to incapacitate a cat, put it into a cage and stash it in the truck.
At around 3 a.m. on Oct. 22, thanks to a tip from locals, dozens of police officers caught the group red-handed selling cats in Nghen Town and Trung Loc Commune.
Around 36 cats, weighing a total 100 kilos and worth around VND10 million, were found at the scene. Numerous tools, weapons and vehicles were also seized.
The group confessed to have stolen the cats on Oct. 22, continually changing location to evade detection.
Dog and cat trade remains rampant in Vietnam, with stolen pets sold to restaurants or small, unregulated abattoirs for meat, VNExpress reported.