JAKARTA, March 15 (Xinhua) -- An Indonesian man was arrested in eastern Papua province for attempting to smuggle more than 2,000 endangered turtles, police said on Friday.
The police seized as many as 2,227 of the species, which were stuffed into big boxes on a boat in Yos Sudarso sea port of Merauke district in the province, spokesman of provincial police Musthofa Kamal said.
"The police suspected on three big boxes carried by port workers at the sea port. Then the police asked them to open the boxes. The boxes contain pig-nose turtles. These are protected species," he said,
The man who was believed to be the smuggler was detained as he could not show the license for the possession of the animals, Musthofa was quoted by local media as saying late Thursday.
Under the country's law, the spokesman said, the man could serve a maximum of five year jail term and pay 100 million rupiahs (about 7,000 U.S. dollars) of fine if convicted.
The turtles were took from Agats of Asmat district, but it was not clear where the shipment were headed, he added.
Pig-nose turtle is a species of marine life native to northern Australia and southern New Guinea island, which is shared by Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.