Myanmar: Pangolins are trafficked in plain sight

By Xu Jiaming, Tin Htet Paing, on December 27, 2019

Our Chinese reporter, Xu Jiaming, teamed up with Tin Htet Paing, a senior reporter at Myanmar Now, to visit markets, restaurants and shops in major trade hubs across the country, feigning interest in buying pangolins.

They found consumption and trade of the nearly extinct animal to be more pervasive and more brazen than we had expected – despite laws supposedly protecting pangolins.

The picture below shows a live pangolin that was offered to them for sale at a Chinese restaurant in Yangon:

As part of “The Pangolin Reports,” journalists have inquired about pangolin meat in more than 14 countries. In most places, suppliers are careful and suspicious. It took days, weeks, and sometimes months to get to buy an animal. They all know that their trade is illegal.

But episodes like at this restaurant suggest that the country is unlike any other transit hub in Southeast Asia. Consumption is more open than anywhere else.

Please read their report in English at Myanmar Now.

The report also appeared in Chinese at Initium Media.

Tin Htet Paing

Tin Htet Paing is a senior reporter with Yangon-based investigative news outlet Myanmar Now. She previously worked wi…

Xu Jiaming

Jiaming is a Guangzhou-based journalist who has worked for Southern Metropolis Weekly and Southern Weekly, two leadin…