Customs seize live star tortoises from air passenger

UNI India
August 5, 2007
08/05/2007 6:21:11 PM (NORMAL )

Chennai, Aug 5 (UNI) Custom officials seized 350 live star tortoises, valued at Rs five lakh in the international market, from a passenger at Anna International airport here last night.

Airport and Air Cargo Customs Comissioner C Rajan, in a release today said the endangered species, hidden in 11 plastic containers kept inside a zipper bag and meant for smuggling to Malaysia, was seized from Vavanan Naina Mohamed Abdul Kasim Sarbhudin (42), a native of Ilayangudi in Sivaganga district.

Sarbhudin was questioned by the Custom officials on suspicion, while he was passing through the customs counter.

Later, Sarbhudin confessed that the bag, containing star tortoises, was handed over to him inside the airport by one Shahjahan and he was just a courier.

The officials were on look out for Shahjahan. The tortoises were handed over to the wildlife authorities, Mr Ranjan added.

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