Manila: Illegal smuggling of rare animals have long been shaking the world. In the latest, police in the Southeast Asia archipelago country of Philippines at the Manila airport have discovered as many as 1,529 alive turtles wrapped with a duct tape inside abandoned suitcases.
The turtles, were found in four of the unclaimed luggage bags and reportedly could have sold been sold for a value of more than 4.5 million pesos (£60,000). In Philippines which has strict laws against animal smuggling, if found guilty, the carrier used could face fines to the tunes of 200,000 pesos and get a jail term of upto two years.
There is a huge market for such reptiles for they are used as meat and to make medicines. The turtles have been for now submitted to a monitoring unit. The turtles acquired included various species such as the Star Tortoise, Redfoot Tortoise, Red-eared Slider species among others.
In January this year, in India’s Lucknow The Special Task Force (STF) of the Uttar Pradesh Police busted a wildlife smuggling gang operating from Etawah district on Friday and seized 327 turtles. Four members of the gang were arrested. According to a STF official, the gang was smuggling turtles and was busted after a tip. The 327 turtles were kept in 10 sacks and hidden in the boot of a car.