Marine Wildlife Trafficker Finally Tanked

A one-time smuggler of marine animals has been collared by authorities in the Philippines, after more than three years on the lam. Olivia Lim Li was arrested in October in Zamboanga City in a coordinated effort by several Filipino law enforcement agencies.

In June of 2011, Li and her husband, Joe Pring, (who remains at large) vanished after customs officials in Manila blocked their attempt to smuggle out of the country two container vans filled with over 400 pounds of sea whips; 7,300 pieces of trumpet and helmet shells; 163 stuffed hawksbill and green sea turtles; and more than 21,000 pieces of black coral. The haul was worth an estimated 35 million pesos (about US$780,000).

Li’s is one of a series of high-profile arrests this year by Filipino officials attempting to crack down on the lucrative market for endangered marine species.

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