Chinese flight attendant who tried to smuggle dozens of turtles from LA pleads guilty

The 45 turtles could have been worth more than US$40,000

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 June, 2018, 4:28am
UPDATED : Friday, 22 June, 2018, 5:25am

US federal prosecutors say a flight attendant for a Chinese airline has pleaded guilty to attempting to smuggle nearly two dozen spotted and box turtles in a carry-on bag from Los Angeles to China.

The US Attorney’s Office says Huaqian Qu, a Chinese national, entered his plea Thursday to a charge of conspiracy.

He faces up to five years in prison when he is sentenced July 23.

Officials say Qu and a fellow flight crew member with China Eastern Airlines tried to unlawfully export a total of 45 turtles that are protected under international trade law.

The turtles could have been worth more than US$40,000 in Asia.

Man arrested over smuggling of 150 live turtles into Hong Kong

City News Service says the co-defendant is expected to plead guilty on Friday.