Other States

Turtle smuggling racket busted in Odisha

An inter-State live turtle smuggling racket was busted by forest officials in Odisha’s Malkangiri district on Thursday with the seizure of as many as 43 Indian softshell turtles.

Four persons involved in the racket were arrested and investigation is on to track others down. Acting on a tip off, a team of personnel of the Motu Forest Range raided MPV-83, MPV-42 and MV-79 villages (MV stands for ‘Malkangiri village’ and MPV for ‘Malkangiri Poteru Village’, as per the naming convention of villages in the district).

Four persons were caught red-handed while they were trading the live Indian soft shell turtles. The arrested persons included two persons of MV-96 village and two others from MPV-65. According to forest officials, the kingpin of the racket was a man of MPV-65, who is yet to be nabbed.

According to a ranger of the Motu forest range, Balram Nayak, the turtles had been smuggled into the district from Kakinada area of Andhra Pradesh. Each turtle was being sold for around ₹500 in the local market. These rare reptiles are sold for their meat.

The 43 seized turtles were released into the Satiguda reservoir of Malkangiri district. A case has been lodged under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, against the arrested persons.

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2020 12:58:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/turtle-smuggling-racket-busted-in-odisha/article31817486.ece

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