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P69M worth of pangolin scales, other dried wildlife species seized in Palawan

P69M worth of pangolin scales, other dried wildlife species seized in Palawan

MANILA, Philippines — Hundreds of kilos of dried endangered marine and wildlife species with an estimated value of nearly P69 million believed destined for the black market were seized in a joint operation in Palawan, the military said Thursday.

Thirty-eight sacks (2,588 kilos) of dried pangolin scales; 18 boxes of dried seahorse (229 kilos) and sea dragon (86.5 kilos); and nine iceboxes (531 kilos) of dried sea turtle scutes were confiscated at an abandoned house in Purok Pagkakaisa, Brgy. San Pedro in Puerto Princesa City last September 27, the Naval Forces West (Navforwest) said in a statement.

The pangolins are classified as endangered mammal and its scales are in demand for its meat and Chinese medicine use, among others.

In mainland China and Hong Kong, sacks and boxes of confiscated items are believed to be worth over P500 million, the Navforwest said. The estimated local market value is P68.7 million

The joint operation was carried out by the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office and Palawan Council for Sustainable Development, Naval Forces West operatives, and 3rd Marine Brigade. /kga