A Canadian man named Kai Xu was caught at the Canadian border in 2014. His crime? According to NY Times, he illegally smuggled turtles from the U.S. to his native China. Even more shocking is that his case just went to court, and he was sentenced to five years in prison for turtle smuggling.
Xu’s case is not typical. First off, he was caught with 51 turtles strapped on his legs to smuggle over the border. And before his hearing, he wrote a letter to the judge. He allegedly was smuggling turtles to help pay for his college degree; he was a semester away from graduating as an engineer.
The sentence of five years for turtle smuggling also seems extremely harsh. When the judge was asked to hear testimony, he responded that “he was pressed for time.” An appeal has been planned for Xu. While waiting for his court appearance, he has spent 19 months in jail and has become fluent in Spanish in order to help the hispanic inmates. He is hoping that this will help show his good intentions.
With the rising debt that us students are going to be in by the time we graduate, I urge you to stay away from the temptation of turtle smuggling. It will not solve all of your debt woes, I promise!
Lead Image Credit: So Tiny; Tony Alter via Flickr Commons