In a statement here, Saturday, Region 4 Marine Police Deputy Commander Supt Rosman Ismail said 8,500 turtle eggs with a market value of RM12,500 were seized, believed meant for the local market here.
They credited the seizure to constant observation on Nunuyan Island and a tip off between 4am and 4.50am on Friday.
He said officers spotted two pump boats heading towards a village on the island from the open sea but before they could get close, they sped off towards the nearby shallow waters where they ran aground.
Police saw the boatmen immediately jump out to escape and the pump boats were brought back to base and the eggs handed over to the relevant authorities for further action.
Collecting turtle eggs is an offence punishable under the Wildlife Protection Enactment 1997.
Marine police said they would step up patrols on the local waters especially during this festive season, adding that they welcome any information on maritime crime on Sandakan waters at 089-221 423 / 221 424 / 221 453.