Turtles are a smuggler's goldmine 走私者的「黃金」龜

Wed, Jan 17, 2007 - Page 14

More than 2,000 freshwater turtles were taken from people in northern India who wanted to smuggle them to other countries. Nine people were arrested in India, police said.

An Indian wildlife protection law makes selling these turtles illegal. After the turtles were found, they were released back into the wild.

"People like the meat of the turtle because they believe it is a good medicine," said the police.

Wildlife expert Jayan Chaudhry said that turtle meat sells for around 1,000 rupees (NT$700) a kilogram in India, but people outside of India will pay up to 10,000 rupees (NT$7,000) for a kilogram.

"People also want to use turtles for their skin. That skin is good for making leather products," said Chaudhry.

Taiwan also has problems with people smuggling turtles, especially in Kinmen, according to a Taiwanese wildlife society.

Hong Kong, Singapore and Indonesia also have turtle smuggling problems.

(Jason Cox, Staff Writer with AFP)