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. Chinese arrested over poaching endangered turtles
ZAMBOANGA, Philippines, Sept 7 (AFP) Sep 07, 2007
Philippine authorities seized a Chinese fishing vessel and arrested its 19 crew for illegally poaching endangered sea turtles, police said Friday.

The crewmen, from Hainan island off southern China, face charges of catching and slaughtering an endangered species and illegal entry into Philippine waters, said regional police head Chief Superintendent Joel Goltiao.

The vessel was sighted off the southern islands of Tawi-tawi on Saturday and was intercepted by the Philippine coast guard the same day.

Onboard were 19 alive sea turtles and over a hundred dead, some of them newly slaughtered, police said.

The living turtles were freed unharmed but police said all the dead ones were thrown into the sea by the Chinese crew as the vessel was being towed into port.

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