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A suitcase was found with 1,500 of these reptiles stuffed inside it
PORT OF NAIA / FACEBOOK

A suitcase was found with 1,500 of these reptiles stuffed inside it

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

MANILA — If you’re hoping to make a breakaway with illegal contraband, the sluggish turtle is probably not the species of choice to help you make a run for it.

Philippine authorities said Monday that they found more than 1,500 live exotic turtles stuffed inside luggage at Manila’s airport.

PORT OF NAIA / FACEBOOK

PORT OF NAIA / FACEBOOK

The various types of turtles were found Sunday inside four pieces of left-behind luggage of a Filipino passenger arriving at Ninoy Aquino International Airport on a Philippine Airlines flight from Hong Kong, Customs officials said in a statement.

The 1,529 turtles were turned over to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Wildlife Traffic Monitoring Unit, the statement said.

PORT OF NAIA / FACEBOOK

PORT OF NAIA / FACEBOOK

Convictions for the illegal trading of wildlife are punishable by a prison sentence of up to two years and a fine of up to 200,000 pesos ($3,861).

In 2018, Philippine authorities turned over to the DENR a total of 560 wildlife and endangered species, including 250 geckos and 254 corals smuggled through air parcels, baggage and shipments, according to the statement.

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With file from The Associated Press

Tags: Animals, Crime
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