MANILA » Philippine officials have filed criminal charges against several people linked to a huge shipment of endangered sea turtles and rare black corals.
The shipment’s seizure last month has raised alarm that the archipelago’s rich marine life is being devastated by the illegal trade.
Customs Commissioner Angelito Alvarez filed the case Friday at the Justice Department against the owner, consignee, shippers and haulers of the $808,000 cargo. They are facing charges of violating the ban on coral exploitation and exportation and related offenses.
Exequiel Navarro, who is listed in the shipment’s manifest as the consignee, has denied the charges saying he was not aware what was in the cargo.