MEXICO CITY – Seven people were arrested in the Pacific Coast state of Nayarit in possession of 372 sea turtle eggs, Mexico’s environmental protection agency, known as Profepa, said in a statement.
Profepa said the enforcement actions in the municipality of Compostela were spurred by the presence of people selling turtle eggs on area beaches, including Platanitos, Playa de Ixtapa, Boca de Custodio and Boca de Chila.
After intercepting five people transporting 175 eggs in a 1996 Nissan pickup truck, authorities surprised two men as they were plundering sea turtle nests, seizing 112 eggs from one of them and 85 from the other.
The suspects were handed over to a delegation of the federal Attorney General’s Office in Bahia de Banderas, Nayarit.
Sale of sea turtles and their eggs has been banned in Mexico since 2006 and the seven suspects in Nayarit could face up to nine years in prison as well as hefty fines, Profepa said.