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3 Pinoys found with dried shark fins, seahorses charged in court

27 November 2019

By Vir B. Lumicao
No photo description available.
The dried shark fins seized by customs officers at HK Airport


Three Filipino men arrested at the airport in late August for trying to bring into Hong Kong a huge amount of dried shark fins and dried seahorses appeared in West Kowloon Court today, Nov 27, and were told their case will be moved to a higher court.

Jomar Goron, Aldrin Jay Lacuesta and Michael Roy Marcelino, aged between 21 and 36 years old, appeared before Magistrate Peter Law and were each charged with violating the law on the protection of endangered species.

No plea was taken but Law adjourned the cases until Dec 17 and told the defendants to return to court on that date for their committal to the District Court.
Goron and Lacuesta were charged with “importing specimens of Appendix II species otherwise than in accordance with the provisions of the ordinance”, referring to the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance.

Marcelino was charged with “importing specimens of Appendix II species otherwise than in accordance with the provisions of section 11 of Cap.586”.

The prosecution said the defendants were arrested on their arrival from Manila on Aug 23 at Hong Kong International Airport. Customs officers found about 180 kilos of dried shark fins and 500 grams of dried seahorses in their check-in luggage.

No photo description available.
Dried seahorses are a popular cure for impotence in traditional Chinese medicine

The seized goods had an estimated market value of $50,000.

The case was handed over to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, which prosecuted the defendants.

Under the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance, any person found guilty of importing or exporting an endangered species without a license is liable to a maximum fine of $10 million and imprisonment for 10 years.



Appendix II of the ordinance lists over 32,000 species that are not threatened with extinction at present but may become so unless trade is subjected to licensing controls.

Shark fin soup is a popular but pricey soup served in some Chinese restaurants, while dried seahorses are mostly used in Chinese traditional medicine to treat certain ailments, including abdominal pain, toxic swelling, incontinence and impotence.
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