ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/13 June) – Joint police and marine operatives confiscated on Tuesday afternoon 66 pieces of dried sea turtles in the island municipality of Sitangkai, Tawi-Tawi.
Tawi-Tawi police director Senior Supt. Rodelio Jocson said on Wednesday that the turtles were confiscated at a house on stilts in Sitio Tinambak, Barangay Datu Baguinda Puti, Sitangkai.
Jocson said the house owner identified as Utong Gumbahali, 37, was arrested for violation of Republic Act 9147 otherwise known as the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.
He said the biggest of the dried sea turtles measured 32 inches long and 24 inches wide, and the smallest 21 long and 17 inches wide.
The turtles were dried and preserved for sale as interior decoration, he added.
The catching of turtles has been prohibited since it is considered as among the endangered species.
Jocson said the troops were on seaborne patrol when they spotted the turtles being dried by Gumbahali around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. (MindaNews)