P36 million worth of giant clams seized in raid
Joint operatives of the National Bureau of Investigation and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources seize an estimated P36 million worth of giant clams during a raid in Cordova town.
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P36 million worth of giant clams seized in raid
Grace Melanie I. Lacamiento (The Freeman) - October 19, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — At least P36 million or 2,000 kilos of giant clams were confiscated while five people were apprehended in Barangays Catarman and Day-as, Cordova town, Cebu last Wednesday.

Arrested during the joint operation of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Philippine Air Force (PFA), and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) were couple George and Bebing Oldama, Rowena Tajanlangit, and two other men who were not named.

NBI-7 Director Tomas Enrile said prior to the operation, they conducted surveillance after receiving information about the suspects’ illegal activity.

He said they filed a complaint yesterday morning before the Cebu Provincial Prosecutor’s Office against the suspects for violation of Republic Act 10654 or the Act to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing.

Enrile said investigation is ongoing to determine where the suspects sourced the giant clams out.

The items seized were transported to BFAR-7 office in Cebu City for safekeeping.

Authorities have yet to determine if the clams recovered were fossilized via carbon dating, which may take long.

According to BFAR-7, fossilized giant clams are protected under international policies, particularly listed under the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) Appendix II.

BFAR-7 Director Alfeo Piloton commended the NBI and PAF personnel for their efforts to help preserve the country's natural assets.

He also urged the public to report immediately to the authorities those who collect, possess, or sell giant clams. They may send a text message -- OFISHRI (space) Area (space) Information (space) Reporter -- to 09566527469 or 09985975947. Banat News, JMO (FREEMAN)

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