Four lion cubs, a leopard cub and 58 turtles have been rescued in Indonesia. Police arrested two men suspected of being part of an organization that poaches and trades in endangered animals.
One of the suspects was arrested Saturday in Pekanbaru, the capital of Riau province, after picking up suspicious boxes from a speedboat at a port in Dumai district, said Andri Sudarmadi, Riau police’s chief detective.
Police found several boxes containing the animals in his van. The turtles and the leopard cub are listed as critically endangered by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
The other suspect was planning to sell the smuggled baby lion, leopard and turtles to a trader on Java island, Sudarmadi said. They told police each cub is valued at $32.000 on the black market, while the turtles fetch $1.200 each.
Sudarmadi said that the two men were allegedly part of an international trafficking syndicate and that they bought the animals from a smuggler in Malaysia.
The two suspects, if found guilty, face up to five years in jail and $7.000 in fines for attempting to smuggle the baby lions, leopard and turtles.