Andhra Pradesh: 2 held for illegally smuggling 396 turtles

These turtles were procured from West Bengal, to be further taken to Chennai

Officers of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) on Wednesday detained for smuggling several protected turtles at Visakhapatnam. DRI officials carried out surveillance at the Visakhapatnam Railway Station and detected the wildlife species.

The two accused passengers were travelling from the Shalimar station. On questioning they were found to be in possession of 396 turtles, which are listed in Schedule-1 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

On consultation with å wildlife expert, it was found that among 396 turtles, 151 were Indian roofed turtles (Pangshura tecta), 220 Indian tent turtles (Pangshura tentoria), 9 Indian crowned turtles (Hardella thurjii) and 16 Brown roofed Turtle (Pangshura smithii).

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These turtles were procured from West Bengal, to be further taken to Chennai. “The Indian tent turtle, Indian roofed turtle and Indian crowned turtles are listed in Schedule–I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and are thereby provided the highest degree of protection,” the DRI stated in a release.

As a testimony to close inter-agency coordination, the live turtles were immediately seized and handed over to the Andhra Pradesh State Forest officials. The two persons were detained and handed over to forest officials for further investigation under the provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

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