Collector of star tortoises held

Staff Reporter

The Hindu
Oct 31, 2006

Accused was directly involved in collecting live specimens First time person directly involved in collecting live specimens held
·  Arrested had been doing the work for three years
·  Earlier only carriers had been arrested

CHENNAI: Wildlife authorities in the city arrested a person at Koyambedu on Sunday who, they said, was a key figure in co-ordinating the collection of star tortoises from the wild in Karnataka.

The arrested person was identified as K. Seshi Kapoor (24) of Kolar district in Karnataka.
Wildlife authorities said the arrest was made following a tip off. He was remanded to judicial custody.

Interrogation of the arrested person revealed that he had been involved in the work for over three years. He had hired tribals and sent them into the Badravathi forest areas to collect star tortoises.

The collected specimens were then stacked at a place. Once a sizable number of star tortoises was collected, Seshi Kapoor reportedly contacted prospective buyers. Sometimes, the buyers would get in touch with him, the wildlife authorities said.
In June, the officials seized a consignment of star tortoises that was being transported by car at Koyambedu. Two persons were arrested then. The wildlife authorities also seized the car used to transport the banned species. The authorities said that it was Seshi Kapoor who had supplied the consignment to the duo that had been arrested.

In almost all the previous occasions, only the carriers had been arrested.
This is the first time that they had arrested a co-ordinator who was directly involved in collecting the live specimen from the wild, a senior official added.

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