Seychellois arrested in Singapore for smuggling hawksbill shell


19-March-2013

The 48-year-old woman, who has been identified as Barne Florence Flossy Beryl, has reportedly pleaded guilty after the shells, valued at US $10,000, were discovered packed tightly in her suitcase by Immigration and Checkpoints Authority officers at Changi Airport in Singapore.

The find is believe to be the largest haul of illegal hawksbill turtle shell ever to have been found coming from Seychelles in recorded history, according to the Ministry of Environment and Energy.
Juliana Legaie, technical advisor at the Ministry of Environment and Energy, has said that the ministry is determined to find out who the woman was working with.

“We were very disappointed when we heard the news,” said Ms Legaie. “On our side in Seychelles, we are still trying to find out what has really happened, and how those shells have left the country without the authorities noticing or picking it up on the x-ray machines at the airport.

“We have been liaising with the authorities in Singapore who have been helping us, and we are doing a complete investigation to find out what has happened, who is involved and what really happened at the airport.”

Authorities in Singapore stated that an estimated 60 turtles would have been killed to yield the amount of shells found in the woman’s possession.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species outlaws the capture and trade of hawksbill sea turtles and products derived from them, however, they are still highly sought-after for their beautiful brown and yellow carapace plates that are manufactured into tortoiseshell items for jewellery and ornaments.
The species’ population has fallen by about 80 percent worldwide in the last 10 years alone.

Print