16 Mar 2005

Officials catch turtle smugglers in Papua

8:47 pm on 16 March 2005

Indonesian officials have caught four men attempting to smuggle more than 7000 turtles from the province of Papua.

Conservation officers raided a boat in the Tanjung Perak Port in the city of Surabaya this week.

A spokesman says the officers found 7275 of the native pig-nosed turtles in drums, which had come from the Papua port of Merauke.

He says the turtles will be treated before being released into the wild.

The men could be charged with animal trafficking, an offense that carries maximum 10-year jail term in Indonesia.