MANILA, Philippines – For allegedly hoarding up to 10,000 sea turtle eggs, among others, two suspected Malaysian poachers fell in the hands of Philippine authorities, police said Monday, November 4.
The Philippine National Police Information Office identified them as Ku Vui Hjung and Rahman Bin Abd Rahman.
Police arrested them on Mangsee Island in Balabac, Palawan.
The PNP said operatives confiscated more or less 10,000 sea turtle eggs, 3 sacks of dried sea clams, and two sacks of dried sea turtle meat.
The Malaysians face a possible violation of Republic Act 9147, or the Wildlife Resources and Conservation Protection Act.
Authorities say foreign poaching of endangered or protected species has become a major problem in the waters of the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
In October alone, 13 Vietnamese fishermen were arrested for illegal entry into Philippine territory and for poaching, police said. (READ: 13 Vietnamese arrested off Palawan for poaching)
Sea turtles are protected under Philippine law and catching them is punishable by at least 12 years in jail.
In recent years, Philippine authorities have frequently caught foreigners, often Chinese, catching or buying sea turtles in the waters off Palawan. – Paterno Esmaquel II, with reports from Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com