Traveller sentenced for smuggling endangered species
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
A traveller who smuggled endangered turtles was convicted at the West Kowloon Magistrates' Courts today (March 22) for violating the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance (Cap 586).
A spokesman of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) said that eight black pond turtles, 77 three-keeled land tortoises, one Bengal roof turtle and six Indian star tortoises were found by Customs officers inside the luggage of the 31-year-old man arriving from Dhaka, Bangladesh, yesterday (March 21).
Subsequent to follow-up investigation, the AFCD charged the man with illegal import of endangered species. The man was sentenced to imprisonment of four weeks.
Black pond turtles and three-keeled land tortoises are listed in Appendix I to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, while Bengal roof turtles and Indian star tortoises are listed in Appendix II. They are regulated under the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance.
Any person importing, exporting or re-exporting endangered species not in accordance with the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance will be liable to a maximum fine of $5 million and imprisonment for two years. The species will be forfeited upon conviction.
To enquire about the importation of endangered species and to report illegal imports, the public can call 1823 or visit the website www.cites.hk.