Animal Rights

Malaysian Authorities Arrest Members of "Ninja Turtle Gang" and Seize Smuggled Tortoises and Turtles

Main image to the post Malaysian Authorities Arrest Members of "Ninja Turtle Gang" and Seize Smuggled Tortoises and Turtles

Malaysian authorities have taken action against an international crime ring known as the "Ninja Turtle Gang," leading to the arrest of six individuals and the confiscation of approximately 200 smuggled tortoises and turtles. The director-general of Malaysia's wildlife and national parks department, Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim, disclosed that four Cambodians and two Malaysians were apprehended during a raid on a residence in Kuala Lumpur conducted by police and wildlife officials on July 2nd. The rescued reptiles, with an estimated value of US$52,300, were the focal point of this operation, marking the second seizure within a week in Malaysia linked to the illicit wildlife trade.

According to Abdul Kadir, the Ninja Turtle Gang is renowned for their involvement in reptile smuggling, exploiting the belief in Asia that turtles and tortoises bring good fortune and wealth. The rescued animals from the recent raid included various species like the critically endangered Chinese striped-necked turtle, black pond turtle, snapping turtle, sulcata tortoise, leopard tortoise, and red-footed tortoise from South America and Caribbean islands. Initial investigations indicated that these reptiles, along with three snakes, four softshell turtles, a skink, and five frogs, were trafficked from overseas to cater to the thriving pet industry, where exotic animals are in demand.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09