Antananarivo, Madagascar (AFP) – A court in Madagascar upheld Wednesday six-year sentences against three people convicted of dealing in 10,000 extremely rare tortoises, the WWF wildlife conservation group said.

An appeals court in Tulear, southwest Madagascar, also fined the defendants 100 million ariary (23,800 euros, $26,500) and ordered them to pay 100 million ariary to the environment ministry.

Judges ordered the three — two men and a woman — to remain in detention, the WWF said.

They were arrested in April 2018 in a house in possession of 10,072 so-called radiated tortoises, which the WWF said represented a “record” seizure.

From lemurs to rosewood, Madagascar’s natural resources are often targeted by poachers who are rarely punished by authorities on the impoverished Indian Ocean island.

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