Six men have been arrested in Vietnam suspected of stealing as many as 4,000 cats over a two-year period to sell on for their meat, according to reports in the Australian press.
Nguyen Duc Dung, the 26-year-old leader of the gang, later told police they caught the animals by baiting traps with pieces of fish and leaving them outside cat-owners’ homes. With this method, the gang stole between four and six cats each night.
Men sold a kilogram of cat meat for $US 3 (around 2.30 euros) and used the money to play online games. Before long angry locals alerted police, who later caught them in the act. Prosecutors are preparing a charge of property theft, which carries a maximum sentence of seven years in prison.
Although dog thefts were common in Vietnam, this is the first time a group of people have been arrested for stealing such a large number of cats. Cat meat is a popular delicacy in some parts of Vietnam, eaten barbecued as a snack and served with rice wine.