Malaysia: Dept to go after turtle egg buyers too

The Star 1 Oct 17;

KOTA KINABALU: Stop buying and eating turtle eggs or face being fined or imprisoned, the people in Sabah’s east coast Sandakan district are warned.

Sandakan Wildlife officer Hussien Muin said they have launched Ops Pembeli against buyers of turtle eggs, in view of the continuous demands for the illegal items.

“We have conducted many raids and operations against illegal turtle egg traders and not much on buyers,” he said.

So now, apart from the illegal traders, the authorities would also be coming down hard on purchasers because they were still buying despite numerous warnings and advice, he said.

Hussien said those found in possession of turtle eggs could be fined at least RM50,000 or up to RM250,000.

They could also be jailed between one and five years for the offence under the Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997, he said.

Hussien said Ops Pembeli was a continuation from the earlier Ops Penjual which targeted traders and was conducted throughout August.

The ongoing operations against this illegal trade are not deterring sellers and smugglers. The demand for turtle eggs is still very high, he added.