KARACHI: The MCC Exports has foiled the bid to export dry shells, plastrons and fringes of fresh water turtles of Indus river system.

According to details, M/s Hongda Trading Company electronically filed a Goods Declaration (GD) declaring export of dried fish maw net weight 3374 Kg under PCT heading 0305.5900 destined to M/s KongHing Trading Co, Hong Kong valued $13,379 and sought shipment availing facility of automated customs clearance system. This consignment was to go to Canada ultimately.

A number of such consignments were cleared from MCC Exports in the last six months and shipped to Canada via Hong Kong. Deputy collector Amjad Aman and Additional Collector Irfan Javed were working on this case and examined the subject consignment on suspicion.

The consignment was examined and during the course of examination it was found that the consignment contained some turtle organs.

Department of Wild Life Government of Sindh was requested to ascertain the actual description of the goods. Later they examined the impugned goods and ascertained that consignment contained 1900 kgs of dry shells, plastrons and fringes of fresh water turtles of Indus river system.

Turtle species are protected and their poaching, catching, trapping, netting, using as part or whole or derivatives, trading, transporting and export is strictly prohibited as per provisions of Sindh Wild life Protection Ordinance 1972 and Sindh Turtle and Tortoises Protection, conservation Rules, 2014 and Export Policy Order, 2013.

The exporter, M/s Hongda Trading Company filed an untrue declaration in the WeBOC system to hoodwink the system and get the consignment cleared.

Sindh Wildlife Department conveyed the value of 4342 turtle skulls, plastrons and fringes weighing 1.90 tons to the tune of Rs 616.564 million.

Had it not been detected at the time of examination, the exporter would have succeeded to export the contraband Turtle Dry Shells/Plastrons/Fringes in the garb of fish maw and on lower value also. A case is registered against accused namely Ali Ahmed and efforts are being made to arrest the exporter.

These turtles were aged between 80 to 100 years, while a turtle lives for 105 years. Sources said that a very senior Customs officer was patronizing the illegal export of contraband as well as protected species.

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