MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) seized 227 helmet shells or “budyong” from a passenger-cargo vessel in Zamboanga City.
PCG vice commandant for operations, Rear Admiral Luis Tuason Jr., said the operation was conducted based on a tip from an informant.
The shells are considered endangered species and are often used in producing watch parts, said PCG Commander Armand Balilo.
Authorities estimate that the seized goods cost P200,000.
The MV Evergreen Asia ship, reportedly owned by Everlines Incorporated, was raided after docking at the Port of Zamboanga from Jolo, Sulu.
The shells were concealed in 5-foot containers, authorities said.
The suspects behind the illegal shipment will face charges of violating Republic Act 8550 or the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998. -- Report from Alex Calda, dzMM