Man fined $35,000 for illegally importing turtles in boxes labelled 'children's building blocks'

Two years after border officials discovered live turtles, turtle eggs and equipment to breed turtles in packages marked as "children's building blocks," a Calgary man has been fined $35,000 for the illegal importation and sale of the specimens after admitting to federal offences. 

Zhongmin Zheng, 42, pleaded guilty last week to two charges under the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of Interprovincial Trade Act.

The investigation that led to the charges involved turtles covertly marked with UV ink and an undercover wildlife officer posing as a Canada Post employee.

The reptile racket was uncovered on May 24, 2022, when the Canada Border Services Agency found two boxes of live turtles at a Canada Post mail centre in Mississauga, Ont...

This was excerpted from the 23 April 2024 edition of CBC News