Antananarivo, July 19 (IANS) Madagascar police seized 260 baby turtles ready to be sent illicitly to Bangkok at the international airport of Ivato on Monday.
“Madagascar’s police of air and borders (PAF) seized 260 radiata baby turtles at Ivato International Airport,” the Chief of PAF, Commissaire Rufin Lebiria, told Xinhua by telephone.
“Two suitcases each containing 130 turtles, owned to a 41-year-old Malagasy citizen, were found out at the scanner by our elements this morning, during a normal checking at the airport,” Lebiria said.
“The trafficker was a businessman. He planned to take a flight to Bangkok with Turkish Airlines when his illegal act was caught by the police,” Lebiria added.
“Two weeks ago, the police already caught 119 other baby turtles at the same airport,” Lebiria disclosed.
The sale of Madagascar turtles is strictly forbidden because they are classified in the category of endangered species on the Red List of International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and are listed in Annex of the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES).