MANILA, Philippines – Boxes of Pangolin (scaly anteater) scales and turtle shells were seized by authorities at the airport in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.
Four boxes of scales from about 100 Pangolins, locally known as Balintong, were seized by the Philippine National Police (PNP) Aviation Security Group.
Aviation authorities also found shells from about 40 Green turtles and Hawkville turtles in 4 other boxes.
The Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) said the Green turtle and the Hawkville turtle are considered endangered species.
Authorities suspect the shells and scales were to be manufactured as accessories or home decorations.
The Pangolin scales, on the other hand, are also known in the Chinese culture for their supposed curative properties.
The boxes were signed by a certain Novelito Rendon, and were supposed to be delivered to Renato Aloyan in Taboan, Cebu City.
Rendon is facing a charge of violating Republic Act 9147, or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.
The freight company who handled the items admitted it did not thoroughly inspect the boxes, which were declared as containing “daing” (dried fish). – with a report from Butch Mendizabal, ABS-CBN News Palawan