A joint police action involving Bali's police, water police and air surveillance teams resulted in the confiscation of a ship full of protected turtles and the arrest of 5 sailors early on the morning of Friday, October 22, 2004.
The ship - KM Putra Tunggal 01 sailing from Sulawesi was placed on air and water surveillance by police from Thursday afternoon as it sailed closer to Bali. Shortly after 3:30 a.m. on Friday morning when the boat was just 8 miles off Bali's shore, police moved in and arrested the ship. 86 protected green turtles were found on board the ship which were confiscated together with the ship. Police also arrested the Captain and his four crew. If convicted, the sailors face up to 5 years in prison for their crime.
Bali's Police Chief, Irjen Pol. Drs. Made Mangku Pastika called on the police to increase enforcement efforts against Bali's illegal turtle trade thereby ending the island's negative reputation as center for the illegal trade.
To underline his commitment, Chief Pastika joined tourists and members of the local community on Kuta beach on Friday in releasing many of the turtles confiscated that morning and considered fit enough to return to the Oceans after a check by local veterenarians.
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