KOTA KINABALU: Despite the dusk-to-dawn sea curfew in Sabah’s east coast, smugglers are not letting up as they attempt to sneak past security forces during the restricted hours.
Two suspected turtle egg smugglers from southern Philippines abandoned their boats and 8,500 turtle eggs when marine police gave chase in waters off Nunuyan Island in Sandakan at about 4am on Friday.
Sabah Marine Police deputy commander Supt Rosman Ismail said yesterday the suspected smugglers jumped into the sea and fled towards a village after their pump boats ran aground in shallow waters following a 45-minute pursuit.
“Our men managed to recover the boats and the turtle eggs,” he said, adding that they were still looking for the two men on Nunuyan Island.
He said police believed the eggs collected from islands in southern Philippines were being smuggled into Sandakan for sale at markets in the district. The turtle eggs seized had a street value of about RM12,500.
The collection and trading of turtle eggs is banned in both the Philippines and Malaysia as part of international conservation efforts to save the endangered sea turtles.
Supt Rosman said they had handed over the turtle eggs to the Wildlife Department in Sandakan for further action under the Wildlife Conservation Ordinance.
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