PETALING JAYA: Authorities have arrested six members of an international wildlife smuggling ring known as the “Ninja Turtle Gang” and rescued approximately 200 tortoises and turtles valued at an estimated RM246,394.

According to Channel News Asia, Peninsular Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) director-general Datuk Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim said four Cambodians and two localss were apprehended during a raid at a house in Kuala Lumpur on July 2.

This operation follows a previous raid on June 29, where 400 tortoises worth RM3.79 million on the black market were rescued.

“Initial investigations revealed that the reptiles were smuggled from abroad to meet the lucrative pet market,“ Abdul Kadir said.

The seizure included critically endangered species such as the Chinese striped-necked turtle, alongside other rescued endangered species like the black pond turtle, snapping turtle, sulcata tortoise, leopard tortoise, and red-footed tortoise.

The raid also uncovered three snakes, four softshell turtles, a skink, and five frogs.

He added that smugglers typically transport these reptiles into the country by road or in suitcases on commercial flights.

All rescued animals are currently housed in a wildlife department quarantine centre.

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