7 arrested for alleged endangered green turtles smuggling attempt

Police seized a total of 36 green sea turtles, which are now under the care of the Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) in Denpasar for the time being. Photo: Istimewa via Kumparan
Police seized a total of 36 green sea turtles, which are now under the care of the Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) in Denpasar for the time being. Photo: Istimewa via Kumparan

Police arrested seven people off the coast of Bali over the weekend for allegedly trying to smuggle dozens of green sea turtles with a jukung, or traditional fishing boat. 

According to the police, the suspects caught the green sea turtles themselves and were planning to take them to Serangan Island in Denpasar, where they had planned on handing the reptiles over to a man identified as Muhayat.

“We cannot leave this matter alone because it can damage the ecosystem and the survival of protected species, this is why we made the arrests and detained [the suspects],” Toni Ariadi Effendi, director of water police at the Bali Police, said yesterday. 

The suspects were charged with articles from Indonesia’s conservation law, which carries a maximum sentence of one year imprisonment and a fine of IDR50 million (US$3,456). 

Police seized a total of 36 green sea turtles, which are now under the care of the Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) in Denpasar for the time being before they can be released back into the wild. 

The green turtle, or Chelonia mydas, is a protected species under a 1999 Government Regulation on preserving flora and fauna species. This species of large sea turtle is listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Read more news and updates from Bali here.

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CITY: BALICATEGORY: NEWSSUB-CATEGORIES: ANIMALS, CRIME

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