Thursday Turtles: 1,500 exotic turtles and tortoises found duct-taped inside luggage in Manila

Customs officials in Manila have seized 1,529 live exotic turtles found inside the luggage of a passenger arriving in the Phillippines from Hong Kong. 

The live turtles were abandoned inside the luggage that was left inside four unclaimed suitcases in the arrival area.

Custom authorities believe the passenger may have been informed of the vigilance of Bureau of Customs against illegal wildlife trade and its penalties, thus leaving the four (4) X-Rayed luggage unclaimed in the arrival area.

Illegal Wildlife Trading is a violation of RA 10863 (Customs Modernization and Tariff Act) and RA 9147 (Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act)

Violators may face imprisonment of one (1) year and one (1) day to two (2) years and a fine of Twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00) to Two hundred thousand pesos (P200,000.00).

The turtles found were four species: Star Tortoise, Redfoot Tortoise, Sulcata Tortoise, Red-eared Slider. All are prized as commodities to be sold.

In 2018, the port has turned over a total 560 wildlife and endangered species including the 250 geckos, 254 corals and other reptiles apprehend thru air parcels, baggage and shipments.

Earlier this year, 63 iguanas, chameleon and bearded Dragons were also intercepted by customs authorities.

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Peg Fong is also in recovery from newspapers

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