- BOC agents foiled the smuggling of soft-shelled turtles out of the country
- Seven packages containing 123 turtles were intercepted at a cargo warehouse near NAIA-1
- The soft-shelled turtles are allowed for exportation, but the exporter lacked the proper permit to export
Agents of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) foiled an attempt to smuggle soft-shelled turtles out of the country on Friday, November 10.
According to Tempo, seven packages containing 123 soft-shelled turtles and two eels were discovered during a manual inspection of the parcels at the Pair Cargo warehouse near the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1.
BOC Commissioner Isidro Lapeña said the shipment bound for Taiwan via China Airlines flight CI-704 was misdeclared as live eels when it was intercepted by Customs Export Division personnel, led by Rey Gatchalian.
The turtles, which reportedly came from Pampanga, are allowed for exportation as per the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), but the exporter lacked the permit to export.
“These turtles aside from being endemic to China and Taiwan can also be farmed. They are usually harvested for food and folk remedy tonics, however, it is a regulated export, a permit from DENR must be secured first prior to exportation,” NAIA District Collector Ramon Anquilan said.
The BOC turned the turtles over to the DENR for proper disposition.