Hong Kong Customs yesterday (September 28) seized 57 live turtles suspected to be endangered species with an estimated market value of about $340,000 at Hong Kong International Airport. The case also involved suspected act of cruelty to animals.
Customs officers at the airport intercepted a male passenger who arrived in Hong Kong from Moroni, Comoros via Addis Ababa, Ethiopia yesterday afternoon. During Customs clearance, the batch of live turtles suspected to be endangered species were found inside his check-in suitcase. The 47-year-old man was then arrested.
Suspected act of cruelty to animals was also detected since the turtles' trunks and four limbs were being wrapped by plastic tapes.
The case has been handed over to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department for follow-up action.
Under the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance, any person found guilty of importing or exporting an endangered species without a licence is liable to a maximum fine of $10 million and an imprisonment for 10 years.
Members of the public may report any suspected smuggling activities to Customs' 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or its dedicated crime-reporting email account (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Ends/Sunday, September 29, 2019