Russian caught smuggling 320 turtles from Mexico

September 6th, 2012 - 7:34 am ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Sep 6 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Mexican authorities have detained a Russian who tried to smuggle 320 rare turtles out of Mexico, an environmental official said.

Mexico’s deputy environmental prosecutor Sergio Herrera said the suspect is a 21-year-old Russian student named Sergei.

He said the turtles were stuffed into the suspect’s two suitcases.

The reptiles were wrapped in foil and covered by coffee beans to mislead sniffer dogs.

The Russian faces a fine of up to $230,000 and a prison term of 1-4 years.

Mexican authorities have stepped up their turtle conservation efforts in recent years, and illegal taking, trading and transporting the animals is considered a serious offence.

The Russian embassy in Mexico said it was keeping track of the process.

–IANS/RIA Novosti
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