Singapore - Singapore authorities have rescued 630 endangered turtles smuggled from Indonesia and destined for cooking pots here, a wildlife trafficking watchdog and the government said on Wednesday.
A 35-year-old Singaporean man believed to have imported the Asian softshell turtles, was arrested and will be charged under legislation covering the illegal trade of endangered species that came into effect in March.
He faces a fine of up to 500 000 Singapore dollars (about R2,25-million) and a maximum jail term of two years on conviction, the non-government group Traffic Southeast Asia said in a statement.
A spokesperson for Singapore's Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) confirmed the statement.
Turtle soup, a product of turtle meat cooked with Chinese herbs, is a delicacy sought after by certain people because it is believed to boost one's immune system and offer other health benefits.
Another by-product, herbal turtle jelly, is believed to keep youthfulness and improve organ functions. The turtles were smuggled in a boat that arrived at a fish port here on Friday - Sapa-AFP
This article was originally published on page 11 of Daily News on July 06, 2006