The Jakarta Post
Semparuk Police in Sambas regency, West Kalimantan, confiscated 1,340 turtle eggs allegedly being smuggled by a passenger of the KM Sabuk Nusantara 38 vessel during an operation in Sintete Port in the regency.
The turtle eggs were carried by a passenger identified as N, a resident of Sedau subdistrict in the province’s Singkawang city, Semparuk Police chief First Insp. Aswin Mahwan said on Thursday.
Authorities launched the operation on Wednesday after they received information from local people that the KM Sabuk Nusantara 38 would arrive in the port and one of the vessel’s passengers was bringing turtle eggs.
The police waited for the passenger accused of carrying the eggs and officers from both the Semparuk Police and the Sambas Police searched his belongings, Aswin said.
“[We] found thousands of turtle eggs packed in boxes, plastic containers and plastic bags,” Aswin said as quoted by Antara news agency.
Article 21 point 2 of Law No. 5/1990 on conservation stipulates that anyone is forbidden from taking, damaging, destroying, trading and possessing eggs or nests of protected animals.
“The suspect is facing a possible five years’ imprisonment,” Aswin said.
Despite the country’s efforts to protect turtles, their eggs are often stolen and sold as food. Turtle eggs are traditionally consumed as a tonic because they are considered to have higher amounts of protein than chicken or duck eggs. (tru)