Trading of turtle eggs survives despite ban
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
TURTLE eggs are still being sold in the black market despite a ban protecting the endangered animal.
Acting on a tip-off from 1StopBrunei Wildlife, The Brunei Times verified the existence of the turtle eggs trade through a seller who admitted involvement in it.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the seller admitted selling 10 turtle eggs for $12 in Brunei.
“I’m only a reseller. I bought (a set of 10) from him (a supplier) for $10 and was given a meeting point. Then I offered and delivered to anyone who was interested,” said the seller.
A reliable source told The Brunei Times that turtle eggs that are illegally sold and consumed in Brunei are smuggled from Sabah through land and sea routes.
The source added that the eggs were advertised through a group chat invitation on instant messaging app WhatsApp.
The sale and consumption of turtle eggs are illegal in Brunei, as turtles and their eggs fall under the categories of protected species under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
CITES is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.
Brunei ratified CITES via its Wild Fauna and Flora Order 2007.
An offence against the Wild Fauna and Flora Order 2007 is punishable with imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, a fine not exceeding $100,000 or both in the case of an individual.
If the offence is made by a body corporate, the punishment is a fine not exceeding $200,000.
Brunei’s Wildlife Protection Act (revised 1984) protects three species of turtles that call the sultanate its home: Green Turtles (Chelonia Mydas); Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys Imbricita) and Olive Ridley Turtle (Lepidochely Olivaces).
The Brunei Times