Man jailed for storing meat, eggs of endangered turtle

By Phan Anh   January 9, 2020 | 06:05 pm PT
Man jailed for storing meat, eggs of endangered turtle
An olive ridley turtle. Photo by Shutterstock/Stephanie Rousseau.
A man has been sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for storing the meat and eggs of the endangered olive ridley sea turtle.

On April 13 last year, Vo Ngoc Trung, 39, bought the eggs, meat and organs of two olive ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) for VND5 million ($215) from two unidentified people in Con Dao District of the southern Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province.

Trung stored these in a freezer at his house. Three days later, Con Dao police searched Trung's house and found over four kg of turtle eggs and over 80 kg of turtle meat and organs in the freezer. Trung managed to escape the clutches of the police and get away.

He was arrested in October last year in Can Tho City in the Mekong Delta.

The Con Dao District People's Court on Wednesday found him guilty of violating regulations on the management and protection of endangered animals.

The olive ridley sea turtle is classified as a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List and listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The species is threatened by pollution, hunting and habitat loss through residential and commercial development.

Turtles are often traded in Vietnam as exotic pets or for their body parts as food or traditional medicine. The country outlawed trade in turtles in 2002.

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