Malaysia Foils Bid To Smuggle Nearly 2,000 Turtles

Kuala Lumpur, June 23 (QNA) -Malaysia’s wildlife department said Monday it seized nearly 2,000 live Malayan box turtles suspected to be bound for restaurants in Thailand and nearby countries.

The contraband was recovered Saturday from a lorry parked near an illegal jetty in the state of Kelantan, about 270 kilometres north of Kuala Lumpur, state wildlife director Mohammad Khairi Ahmad said.

He said the driver escaped by jumping into the river. The 1,920 turtles were hunted in the nearby state of Terengganu, Mohammad Khairi said adding, “Smugglers take the risks as there is a high demand from the Thai side.”
The terrapin is a protected species in Malaysia and its trade and export is illegal since 2005.

Wildlife trade monitoring group Traffic said the Malayan box turtle is coveted in Asia for its meat and for use in Chinese traditional medicine.(QNA)

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