Green turtle trafficker busted in Bali after 24 years of slaughtering and selling them
Green turtle trafficker busted in Bali after 24 years of slaughtering and selling them –
A Balinese man was arrested yesterday for allegedly poaching and selling green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) for more than two decades.
MJ, 48, a Benoa resident, reportedly have poached green turtles in the last 24 years and sold turtle meat as an ingredient for lawar – a traditional Balinese dish comprising vegetables, coconut and herbs mixed with meat.
When the police raided MJ’s house on April 30, at least 21 turtles were found in a pool, which were all seized by the authorities. A large plastic bag containing turtle meat lawar was also confiscated by the authorities.
The police initially received an anonymous tipoff about many locals in Tanjung Benoa and Nusa Dua consuming lawar made from sea turtle meat.
Bali Sea and Air Police Chief Soelistijono said that upon inspection, it was found that the turtles were sent from Madura, East Java via Gilimanuk Port, Jembrana.
MJ allegedly sold turtle meat for IDR300,000 (US$20.40) per package, although he never really weighed the meat.
He is now facing charges under the 1990 law on natural resources conservation, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of IDR100 million (US$7,000).