The Sewri police has arrested two persons for illegally transporting star tortoises recently. Police have recovered five star tortoises and suspect the accused to be part of an interstate smuggling of protected animal species. The two are identified as Mohammad Yaseen Ramjan Momin, 22, and Azgar Ali Shaikh, 34.
According to the police, recently, they apprehended two people near Ray Road railway station after their movements were found to be suspicious. During their search, the police seized at least five star tortoises. The tortoises are worth Rs 1.5 lakh, said the police. The Indian star tortoises are found in dry areas and scrub forest in India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. The species is popular in the exotic pet trade as a reason it is a threatened species.
The tortoise had been procured from Hyderabad and brought to the city for sale, confessed the accused during questioning. Following the seizure, both the accused were arrested under the relevant sections of Wildlife Protection Act. The police suspect that the accused are part of an interstate smuggling racket.