2 China Eastern FAs Are Facing Charges for Turtle Smuggling
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
TPG has seen flight attendants smuggle cocaine (with one FA strapping 9 pounds to his body), $500,000 in cash and $1.4 million of heroin, but this is the first time we’ve heard of flight attendants smuggling dozens of turtles in carry-on luggage.
On May 12, two China Eastern flight attendants were about to fly from Los Angeles to China with the turtles when the TSA spotted “unusual round objects” in their carry-ons. The bags contained a total of 45 live turtles – 31 spotted turtles and 14 box turtles. Altogether, they’re worth about $40,000 in Asia, where it’s apparently popular to buy US species of turtles.
According to New York Post, “the turtles’ colorful shells are believed to bring good luck in China, and their meat supposedly increases sexual prowess when eaten.”
The China-based FAs, Huaqian Qu and Renfeng Gao, pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge, which could have gotten them up to five years in prison. They’ve been spared, though. After being ordered to leave the country within 72 hours of the incident, they were fined $5,500 each by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and sentenced to three years on probation.
According to the judge who ordered the punishment, US District Judge S. James Otero, the probation was a reasonable punishment for the flight attendants, despite prosecutors pushing for 10-month prison sentences.
H/T: AP News
Featured image by Asif Sherazi/Getty Images
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,600
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.