1,500 live turtles found in luggage on flight from Hong Kong

Photo: Bureau of Customs NAIA

MANILA, Philippines (WTHR) — The Bureau of Customs at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport confiscated luggage after finding 1,529 live, exotic turtles Sunday.

The agency found various species: star tortoise, redfoot tortoise, sulcata tortoise and red-eared slider.

The luggage was on a flight arriving from Hong Kong. Authorities believe the passenger who owned the luggage may have been informed about the how seriously the airport takes illegal wildlife trade. There were four bags filled with the animals.

Last year, the port turned over 560 wildlife to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, including 250 geckos and 254 corals. So far this year, Customs has intercepted 63 iguanas, chameleons and bearded dragons.

Illegal wildlife trading could lead to up to two years in prison.

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