The seller showed investigators footage on his phone of the tank being prepared in early 2014 with a complete tiger skeleton. The seller and chef claimed the tiger products derived from tigers sourced as cubs from a tiger farm in Laos and raised at the GT SEZ. They alleged that Zhao Wei’s “right hand man”, Zhang Ming, kills the tigers when their bones are needed. Another trader in Chinatown who claimed to know Zhang revealed that the killing takes place at Zhang’s nearby property. He is said to be the boss of Chinatown. The chef said: “The boss, actually, his main aim is not meat, he is really after the skeletons to brew wine.”At The God of Fortune restaurant, also in Chinatown, the speciality is yewei, Chinese for ‘wild flavour’ referring to the taste of wild and exotic animals.
On the menu was a variety of yewei; bear paw, monitor lizard, pangolin, Tokay gecko, snake and turtle. The restaurant also had jars claimed to be tiger bone wine. Investigators observed a live python and a bear cub kept in cages by the restaurant entrance and the kitchen exit, respectively – both of which were available to eat on request.“The activities within the Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone constitute an intolerable disregard for international law as it concerns the illegal wildlife trade and endangered species,” Debbie Banks of EIA said in a statement.