Customs seizes 330 tortoises at KLIA
SEPANG: The Customs Department has foiled an attempt to smuggle in 330 exotic tortoises worth RM1.2 million at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport here on Sunday.
The live tortoises were flown in on an Etihad Airways jetliner from Antananarivo Airport in Madagascar.
Customs Deputy Director of Enforcement Abdull Wahid Sulong yesterday said there were five Ploughshare and 325 Indian Star tortoises.
“We received a tip-off yesterday (Sunday) and checked the cargo from the aircraft.”
Wahid said the tortoises were packed into five boxes which were labelled as “stones” in the documentation and bore a fake address in Selangor.
He said this was the first case involving live tortoises being smuggled into Malaysia via air freight.
“The tortoises are for the local market.
Usually kept as pets, the Ploughshare tortoise can fetch a price of up to US$4,000 (RM17,300) in the local market. The Indian Star tortoise can be sold for US$1,000 each.
He said no arrests had been made and the case was under investigation.
The department offers a cash reward for those with information on the case and they can call its hotline at 1-800-88-8855.
One of the five Ploughshare tortoises that were confiscated by the Customs Department in Sepang yesterday.