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2 Russian Men Sentenced to 15 Months in Jail for Smuggling Turtles

Two Russians were sentenced to 15 months in jail on Wednesday after being caught en route to Indonesia from Bangladesh with 206 endangered turtles, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore said in an online statement.

Alexei Radkov, 34, and Maxim Pavlychev, 38, were detained in July when a security officer at Singapore's Changi Airport intercepted the live load spread over four large bags lined with diapers and cloth to absorb the turtles' excrement, the report said.

The turtles belong to the endangered Geoclemys hamiltonii species, and are worth an estimated total of 90,000 Singapore dollars ($65,100), the report said, adding the reptiles were “in high demand in the exotic pet trade.”

The turtles were found in poor condition and 27 of them have died to date. The remaining turtles are in the care of the Wildlife Reserves organization in Singapore, the report said.

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