A total of 500 Indian star tortoises has been seized from a train passenger at the Vijayawada station in Andhra Pradesh while on his way to deliver them in Ahmedabad, directorate of revenue intelligence (DRI) said on Tuesday.
The passenger was arrested on Monday for illegal transport of the reptiles for export, a DRI press release said. The Indian star tortoises are a vulnerable and endangered species according to the Wild Life Protection Act, 1972.
Acting on specific intelligence, the DRI officials stopped the passenger while he was about to leave for Ahmedabad from Vijayawada by the Navjeevan Express, the release said here.
On questioning about the contents of the luggage, the passenger admitted to carrying 500 Indian star tortoises of different sizes. He told the officials that he was asked by a person from Kadiri in Anantapur district to carry the reptiles to Ahmedabad and deliver them to a person for export to different countries, it said. The tortoises were seized and handed over to the forest range officer of Vijayawada, it added.