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After two years of chasing, the case of 102 critically endangered Hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricate) that were confiscated in Binh Dinh province (southern Vietnam) back in 2011 has finally closed, with both good and bad outcomes.
It started in July 2011, when traffic police and market management stopped a car travelling on Highway One in Binh Dinh province, and found it was transporting 102 Hawksbill sea turtles. The turtles were confiscated, and authorities continued with their investigation to track down the owner of the shipment.
However, in the meantime, authorities also wanted to auction off the turtle shells, and ENV worked hard negotiating with the economic police, environmental police, People’s Committee, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Fisheries and other authorities in an effort to prevent this from happening.
Almost two years later, the good news is that the turtle shells will be transferred to the Museum of Oceanography in Nha Trang, instead of being sold off. The bad news is that the owner of this turtle shipment was only issued with an 18-month suspended sentence, which we believe is far too lenient for this crime.