10 Indonesian fishermen accused of shark fin smuggling

HONOLULU (AP) — Ten Indonesian fishermen arrested in Hawaii are accused of trying to smuggle nearly 1,000 fins of protected whitetip sharks from the U.S. to Indonesia.

According to court documents, they had been working on a Japanese boat and were headed home via Honolulu when airport security workers found shark fins in their luggage.

It’s against U.S law to engage in international trade of a protected species without a permit. It’s also illegal to possess, sell or distribute shark fins in Hawaii, which was the first state in the nation to ban the pricey delicacy often used in Chinese soups.

Court documents say there were at least 962 shark fins in 13 pieces of luggage. Authorities say some were from oceanic whitetip sharks.

A detention hearing is scheduled for the fishermen Tuesday.

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