Three Arrested over Turtle Trading
Police caught three men attempting to smuggle 18 green turtles into Bali for the restaurant trade on Monday.
Officers from Bali Water Police acted after a patrol boat spotted a suspicious vessel unloading a cargo at Benoa Harbour.
They arrested three men – 44-year-old Nyoman Sugira, 30-year-old Gede Kole and 35-year-old Gusti Ngurah Datia – as they completed unloading the turtles.
A fourth man, named as Sudir, escaped in the boat.
“The most important thing was to save the turtles first, although of course we were after the suspects,” said Agus Doeta, director of Bali Water Police.
Doeta said the turtles were to be used for food.
“Our suspicion is that these turtles were to be sent to restaurants that are still serving turtle meat secretly,” he said.
Consumption of turtles is banned as they are a protected species.
The three suspects face jail terms of up to five years and a maximum fine of Rp100 million (US$11,720) under conservation laws.
All of the turtles were alive when they were seized by police. Two were retained as evidence and handed over to a conservation centre for care; the remaining 16 were released directly into the sea at Kuta Beach.Filed under: Headlines