The Jakarta Post
Jakarta Police arrested a man in Tangerang, Banten, earlier this week over the illegal trade in and possession of 128 pig-nosed turtles, a protected species native to Papua.
Jakarta Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Argo Yuwono said the turtles were sold via social media, where they fetched between Rp100,000 (US$7) and Rp1 million, depending on their age.
Police investigator Adj. Sr. Comr. Ganis Setianingrum added that all the known buyers were Indonesians who keep the turtles as exotic pets. However, the suspect, identified only as ES, allegedly had plans to export the turtles to Taiwan and Hong Kong, where they can fetch a higher price and are also used as an ingredient for medical and cosmetic products.
Ganis said ES had been selling the turtles since August, lured into the business by his friend and fellow turtle trader.
“They have their suppliers in Papua, who usually smuggle the turtles to Tangerang by plane,” he said, as reported by wartakota.tribunnews.com.
ES will be charged with violating Article 40(2) of the 1990 Conservation Law, which carries a maximum penalty of five years of imprisonment and Rp100 million in fines.
Fewer than 10,000 pig-nosed turtles are left in the world, spread out across northern Australia, Papua and Papua New Guinea. In Indonesia, they are protected under Environment Ministry Regulation No. 20/2018 on protected flora and fauna. (nor)