Andhra Pradesh News

406 star tortoises seized, two held

406 star tortoises seized, two held
Indian Star Tortoises are seen during a news conference at Thailand's customs department in Bangkok June 2, 2011. Thai customs have found 451 turtles worth 1 million baht ($33,000) stashed in suitcases offloaded from a passenger flight from Bangladesh, the latest seizure of live creatures at Bangkok's bustling Suvarnabhumi airport. Turtles of varying sizes worth around 2,000 baht apiece in Thai markets, and seven false gavials, a type of freshwater crocodile worth 10,000 baht each, were found on Thursday in small bags packed into cases after authorities received a tip off that a known trafficker was on his way to Thailand. To match Reuters Life! THAILAND-TURTLES/ REUTERS/Sukree Sukplang (THAILAND - Tags: CRIME LAW ANIMALS POLITICS SOCIETY)

Vijayawada [Andhra Pradesh]: At least two persons were apprehended by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) here on Tuesday for trafficking 406 Indian star tortoises.

The ‘vulnerable’ species were seized at Andhra Pradesh’s Vijayawada Railway Station, when two lady passengers tried to export the tortoises in four bags from Kadiri to Bhubaneswar.

The duo admitted that they were asked to hand the tortoises over to some person for export out of India to Bangladesh.

According to the DRI, the species with the zoological name ‘Goechelone elegans’ has been declared endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and prohibited for export under Foreign Trade policy.

The seized tortoises were later handed over to Vijayawada Forest Range officer for safe custody and further action.(ANI)