Over 1,000 exotic turtles worth RM600,000 seized in sting operation

PETALING JAYA: The Wildlife Crime Unit has seized more than 1,000 exotic turtles and detained four foreigners during a sting operation here and in Kuala Lumpur.  

The seizure is worth an estimated RM600,000.  

In announcing this, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said four Indian nationals have been detained to assist in investigations.  

Dr Wan Junaidi said two suspects were detained in the first raid at a house in Petaling Jaya at about 7pm on Monday.  

"A total of 1,011 Star tortoises and 23 Indian Roofed turtles were seized.  

"In a follow-up at a budget hotel in Kuala Lumpur, two other suspects were picked up early today (Tuesday)," he said.  

Dr Wan Junaidi said the enforcement officers found 36 Black Pond turtles in four bags.  

Checks showed all the four suspects did not possess any licence from the Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) to keep the reptiles.

The suspects will be investigated under Section 68 of the Wildlife Protection Act 2010 for keeping wildlife without a special permit.  

The offence carries a jail term of up to three years, a maximum fine of RM100,000, or both upon conviction.