Malaysia seizes hundreds of smuggled turtles at airport

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Media captionMalaysian officers exhibit turtles seized at Kuala Lumpur airport

Malaysian authorities have seized greater than 5,000 child turtles found in baggage at Kuala Lumpur airport.

Two Indian males had been arrested after the 5,255 red-eared sliders – a semi-aquatic species of turtle – had been present in baskets inside their suitcases.

Officers say the turtles are price about $12,700 (£10,018) and had been supposed to be bought as pets in India.

Malaysia is a serious transit level for wildlife smugglers, who sometimes go on to commerce in different Asian international locations.

The 2 males had been arrested final week after flying to Kuala Lumpur from the Chinese language metropolis of Guangzhou, senior Malaysian customs official Zulkurnain Mohamed Yusof mentioned.

The lads, aged 30 and 42, didn’t have permits for the turtles, he mentioned.

They might now withstand 5 years in jail and a advantageous.

“That is the primary such case of the 12 months, and we’re unable to state whether or not it entails an identical amount or extra [if compared with previous cases]. However it seems to be fairly a big amount in two suitcases discovered on the similar time,” Mr Yusof mentioned at a press convention on Wednesday.

Pink-eared sliders are the preferred turtle within the pet commerce, in keeping with the Worldwide Union for the Conservation of Nature.

They’re categorised as an invasive species in a variety of habitats and are actually discovered within the wild in international locations around the globe, because of many being launched by house owners or escaping.

The turtles seized in Malaysia final week will probably be put below the care of wildlife officers.

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