The Water Police Unit of Bali confiscated 33 rare sea turtles from a boat in the Tanjung Benoa Beach, Bali, since the boat did not have the proper legal documents.
“We suspect the sea turtles were deliberately being brought into Bali. However, we have not identified their owners. Once we find the owners, we will be able to look into the origins of the sea turtles,” said Kombes Pol Hariadi, Head of Public Relations of the Bali Provincial Office.
The sea turtles, comprising hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) and green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas), were seized by the police at the Tanjung Benoa Beach, at 12.30am.
According to the Bali Police, the owner of the boat was waiting at the shore to receive the turtles. However, the police managed to confiscate the boat and the sea turtles, before they could reach the owner.
The police believe that the turtles were transferred from another boat (larger) to this boat in the middle of the water body.
During the ambush, the police did not find a single crew member aboard the unnamed boat.
The Bali Police will hand over the turtles to the Natural Resource Conservation Agency.