Traveler attempted to smuggle 1,500 live turtles into the Philippines

Photo via Bureau of Customs FB page

By David Oliver/USA TODAY – A passenger traveling from Hong Kong tried to smuggle more than 1,500 exotic live turtles into the Philippines on Sunday.

“The confiscated turtles (Star Tortoise, Redfoot Tortoise, Sulcata Tortoise, Red-eared Slider live species) were found inside the left-behind luggage of a certain arriving Filipino passenger from (Philippine Airlines) flight number PR 311 Hong Kong,” according to a press release from the Bureau of Customs at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in the Philippines.

The 1,529 live turtles were worth approximately $87,000. Customs turned them over to the DENR Wildlife Traffic Monitoring Unit on Sunday, according to similar Facebook post about the incident.

The press release added: “The passenger may have been informed of the vigilance of the port against illegal wildlife trade and its penalties, thus leaving the four (4) X-rayed luggage unclaimed in the arrival area.”

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