A Vancouver man’s attempt to smuggle 19 live turtles into Canada has cost him an $18,000 fine, Environment Canada said Monday.
Li Wan was caught with the turtles at the U.S.-Canada Border on Jan. 27, 2018, after failing to declare them.
The turtles were made up of 16 different species, the ministry said in a release, six of which are listed as endangered in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
Those species require a permit to be imported into Canada. They include spotted pond turtles and diamondback terrapins.
The turtles were seized from Wan at the time of the incident and were forfeited to the Crown.
Wan pleaded guilty to the smuggling attempt on May 6 and was ordered to pay the fine under the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act.
The ministry said the penalty will go towards its environmental damages fund, which is used to pay for projects that protect or benefit the environment.
Environment Canada is asking anyone who witnesses a wildlife crime to report it to police or Crime Stoppers.