Indonesia: Sea turtle conservation workers arrested for selling eggs in border area

Severianus Endi The Jakarta Post 31 Jul 18;

Two sea turtle conservation workers in Sambas regency, West Kalimantan, have been arrested for allegedly selling turtle eggs.

Police have also questioned a third person who allegedly transported the eggs as a witness.

The protected sea turtles lay eggs near the Indonesia-Malaysia border.

The Environment and Forestry Ministry’s Pontianak office’s head of law enforcement, David Muhammad, said on Tuesday that his team had confiscated 199 eggs from the two suspects.

The suspects were part of a group called Kambau Borneo that monitors the habitat in Paloh district. Every night they monitor the turtles that lay eggs and move the eggs to a breeding facility in Camp Tanjung Api.

They are also responsible for releasing the hatchlings into their natural habitat.

“But they took some of the eggs and sold them,” David said.

The eggs were sold to local villagers for Rp 2,000 (14 US cents) each, however Malaysians pay double the price.

The ministry will charge the suspects under the Natural Resources Conservation Law, which carries a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment and fines of up Rp 100 million. (evi)