Malaysia: Immigration ops leads to surprise discovery of 10,000 turtle eggs

AWANG ALI OMAR New Straits Times 3 Sep 16;

SANDAKAN: Nearly 10,000 turtle eggs were seized and 10 illegal immigrants held as part of a special operation launched in waters off here.

Launched on Sept 1, the operation, dubbed Ops Pensura Khas, aims to intercept people fleeing the southern Philippines in the wake of an on-going offensive by the country’s security forces against the Abu Sayyaf group.

State Marine Police Chief Assistant Commissioner Mohamad Madun said that in the last two days, five boats ¬¬- an outboard engine-powered vessel and four pump boats powered by modified water pumps - were stopped at sea near Sungai Batu 2, Sungai Batu 3 and Pamaguan.

"A total of 9,900 turtle eggs were recovered, and 10 Filipinos aged 14 to 54 were apprehended in the operation which will continue," he said.

Investigations will be carried out under the Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997 on the seizure of the turtle eggs; the Immigration Act 1959/1960 on the individuals found without valid travel documents; and Boat Rules 1953 for the use of pump boats which are illegal in Sabah.

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