SPECIES IN PERIL
– A Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) personnel inspects a shipment containing 58 Pangolins, which is considered critically endangered, believed to be headed to other Asian countries as cure for some diseases and as aphrodisiac. The ‘scaly anteaters’ were with a shipment, that also included 14 boxes of sea horses, and a carton of sea dragons, valued at more than 11 million, seized by the BOC at Pier 4 in North Harbor, Manila.
The Philippine Coast Guard on Friday found a truck loaded with dead and preserved pangolins, seahorses and other wildlife aboard a ship docked at Manila North Harbor’s Pier 4.
A team from the Coast Guard found seven styro boxes containing 60 pangolins or scaly anteaters, 13 sacks of seahorses and a box of sea dragon in a truck aboard the MV St. Francis Xavier, owned by 2GO Group, Inc., Coast Guard spokesman Commander Armand Balilo said in a text message to the media.
The St. Francis Xavier is a ferry that plies the Iloilo-Bacolod-Manila route.
A team from the Manila Coast Guard Station, PCG K-9 unit, Sea Marshal Group and the Philippine Air Force (PAF) Intelligence Unit that boarded the vessel found a truck loaded with the dead and preserved animals.
The truck was listed in the ship’s cargo manifest as carrying plastic scraps.
The team also discovered other cargo aboard suspected to contain other varieties of endangered species.
Representatives from the Department of Natural Resources (DENR) arrived at Pier 4 to examine and identify the other seized marine species.
The cargo and the truck driver and his helper were held at the Coast Guard Station in Manila and will be brought to the Manila Prosecutor’s Office, Balilo said.