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PCG, BFAR and DENR-NCR flag cargo containing contraband wildlife species at Manila Port
January 14, 2017
Combined elements of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Bureau of Fisheries Aquatic Resources (BFAR), and DENR-NCR Port Integrated Clearance Office (PICU) confiscated boxes and sacks of contraband wildlife species in Manila North Harbor on Saturday, 14 January 2017.
Working on information that a cargo truck was illegally transporting dried Sea Horse, the authorities flagged the driver and crew of the truck as they arrived in Manila aboard a 2GO ship from the port of Bacolod. They were however surprised to find 7 boxes of frozen Pangolins, 13 sacks of dried Sea Horse, and 1 sack of dried Sea Dragon, hidden under sack loads of declared plastic scraps on inspection.
Classified as vulnerable and critically endangered by the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the number of pangolins and sea horses in the wild had been dwindling fast because of high market demand. It is believed that bodies of these animals can cure illnesses and have aphrodisiac properties.
DENR-NCR PICO officers said that administrative and criminal charges are set to be filled to the driver and crew for violating Section 27 of Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.