Assisted by the officials of the Lucknow forest unit, a team of Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force, have apprehended three persons on the charges of smuggling turtles. The arrest took place yesterday, Sunday.
The three apprehended persons have been identified as Saurabh Kashyap of Kakori, Arman Ahmad of Sultanpur and Ravindra Kumar Kashyap of Malihabad.
Disclosing the details of the animals recovered from the possession of the three, Ravi Kumar, Lucknow’s District Forest Officer said they included 175 Indian roofed turtles, 60 Indian tent turtles, 19 crowned river turtles and four Indian-eyed turtles. Besides this, also recovered were motorcycle, Rs 2,460 cash, three mobile phones and other documents.
Following a tip-off, the STF team led by Deepak Kumar Singh, Deputy Superintendent of Police, STF, worked on the case and nabbed the accused near Indiranagar Metro station when they were handing over the animals to a person.
#UPSTF— UPSTF (@uppstf) November 21, 2021
के द्वारा दिनांक 21.11.2021 को अंतर्राज्यीय स्तर पर कछुओं की तस्करी करने वाले 3 तस्करो:-
1. रविन्द्र, 2. अरमान व 3. सौरभ को 258 कछुओं के साथ थाना इन्दिरानगर क्षेत्र, लखनऊ से गिरफ्तार किया गया। @uppolice pic.twitter.com/cwLnWw1ddr
On questioning, one of the prime accused told the police that he had been smuggling for years and the network was spread over Barabanki, Sultanpur, Rae Bareli, Unnao and Bahraich. The turtles were obtained by paying a small amount to the fishermen.
According to an article in thethirdpolice.net, the illegal trade of turtles on an international level is firmly established and smugglers are able to make thousands of dollars for a few of these creatures. These reptiles are in high demand as they are kept as pets by people because of their quiet demeanour and nature and for their attractive shells.
They are also highly sought after in Asia since traditional Chinese medicines which are made from specific body parts of specific animals views turtles as important given its longevity. In certain parts of the world they are considered as a delicacy.
Rampant poaching and smuggling of these creatures have rendered many of the species endangered.