Turtle egg trader jumps into sea to flee marine cops

KOTA KINABALU: A man suspected to be a turtle egg trader jumped into the sea and swam away when he saw marine police closing in on him.

The man, who was in a white pump boat in the Sungai Batu 3 area in Sandakan, managed to escape when he saw enforcement officials approaching him at about 5am yesterday.

Sandakan Marine Police commanding officer DSP Rusdin Banin said the suspect sped off on his boat and jumped into the sea once he was near the shoreline.

He added that officials were not able to locate the man.

“Upon inspecting the abandoned boat, we found plastic bags with turtle eggs inside, ” he said in a statement here yesterday.

DSP Rusdin added that they seized a total of 1,500 eggs from the boat.

He said they believed the turtle eggs were smuggled from the Philippines.

He said the boat, which had a Filipino registration number, was seized together with the eggs and that the incident would be investigated under the Wildlife Conservation Enactment Act.

He said the eggs were worth about RM2,700 and that the boat was valued at RM2,500.

“All the items have been handed over to the Wildlife Department for further action, ” DSP Rusdin added.

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