Not so ninja-turtle smuggling plot foiled at Indian airport
199 turtles were stuffed into four check-in bags. (File photo)
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India's Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) officers intercepted two passengers - both holding UAE passports - carrying 199 live turtles in four trolley checked-in bags on Thursday night.
A case has been registered against both of them, according to officials.
The two passengers M.A and S.I bought the turtles in Mumbai and were planning to smuggle them to the UAE.
A senior official said they have asked the state forest department to help them identify the species of the seized turtles. The export and import of such turtles are banned in India as they fall under Schedule I of the Wildlife Act.
An official said the turtles had been shoddily packed. "Such smuggling harms the animals and many die on-board," he added.
The AIU will record the statements of the accused.
Meanwhile in another case reported last week, 129 radiated tortoises and six Angonoka tortoises were smuggled from Madagascar to Nepal, with Mumbai as a transit point. They were rescued and safely sent back to Madagascar.
By Ankita Chaturvedi