Ramanathapuram (Tamil Nadu): Mandapam Forest Department in Rameswaram arrested eight smugglers and seized nearly 150 kg of lugworms from them on Tuesday.
The accused have been identified as Perumal (36), Sengeni (45), Vijay (21), Rayar (22), Subramaniam (21), Chandran (31), Gobi (36) and Karthikeyan (27) from Thiruvallur and Cuddalore districts of Tamil Nadu.
Speaking to ANI, Venkatesh, Mandapam Forest Ranger, said: “The accused were caught during the night time when we were patrolling. We confiscated the lugworms which were being transported with the intention of commercial sale.”
The lugworms were allegedly being transported from Valayarwadi village in Rameswaram to Chennai.
Lugworms are typically found in shallow coastal areas and islands. They are used as food for organisms like shrimp or as fishing bait.
Since lugworms are one of the declining organisms in Tamil Nadu, the state biodiversity board had banned the sale of lugworms under the Biological Diversity Act, 2002.
The accused would be produced in the Ramanathapuram court today.