Google map of Hadji Panglima Tahil, Sulu province.

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Eight persons were arrested for allegedly poaching 15 turtles in Sulu province, a top police official said Monday.

Col. Richard Verceles, operations chief of the Area Police Command-Western Mindanao, said the alleged poachers were arrested around 3:30 p.m. Sunday at Sitio Puh Higad, Barangay Bubuan in Hadji Panglima Tahil, Sulu.

Verceles identified the suspects as Sawah Habil, 18; Albakre Basari, 23; Jal Sali, 21; Asdarun Akasa, 28; Sanibe Saali, 30; Mulsin Mahamod, 22; Mahadil Mahamod, 21; and Marvin Haril, 22. They are all residents of Pangutaran town, Sulu.

Verceles said the suspects were arrested after a resident reported to authorities that they were hunting turtles.

Seized from the poachers were 15 slaughtered turtles, five motorboats, seven spears and other hunting equipment.

Verceles said the suspects were detained while the seized pieces of evidence were brought to Sulu Maritime Police Station for inventory, documentation, and filing of appropriate charges.

The hunting of turtles is prohibited under Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act. (PNA)