Police, govt foil attempt to smuggle 12,000 turtle eggs
South Sulawesi police and Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSD) have foiled an attempt to smuggle 12,000 turtle eggs from Buru Island in Maluku to Kota Baru in South Kalimantan.
Faat Rudiyanto, BKSD chief for protection and preservation, said on Saturday the eggs were found aboard Gunung Dempo passenger ship which was docking at Soekarno-Hatta seaport in the South Sulawesi capital of Makassar.
Faat said the eggs of the protected species were kept in 13 unused cigarette boxes in a bid to escape seaport officers’ search.
“When all the passengers alighted, forest rangers and seaport police conducted a regular search. They were suspicious of the cigarette boxes, especially after their owners looked nervous,” Faat said.
The egg owners, Idris, 57, and La Uni, 50, told the police the eggs were ordered by businessman Zulkifli in Kota Baru. They said they bought the eggs from fishermen on Buru Island for between Rp 2,000 and Rp 2,500 each.
Both Idris and Uni have been named suspects and will be charged with violating Law No. 5/1990 on conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem. If found guilty, they may face five years in maximum prison term and Rp 100 million in maximum fine.
The eggs will be hatched on one of the islands in Pangkajene regency or Pangkep Islands.