45 sea turtles rescued, 3 held in Balasore

Balasore: Busting a sea turtle smuggling racket, Chandipur Forest Department officials jointly with Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel rescued at least 35 sea turtles from Rupsa Railway Station and arrested three persons.

The turtle smuggling racket was unearthed during a RPF checking at the railway station late last night. After witnessing the suspicious movement of the accused railway cops checked at least three sacks which they were carrying and found the turtles.

The turtles were later handed over to forest officials and a case was lodged.

“We got a call from Rupsa RPF late last night and rushed to the spot to seize the turtles. Those had been collected from Sakhigopal area in Puri and were being sent to neighbouring West Bengal State, we believe,” said Debendra Nath Patra, Range Officer, Chandipur.

The seized turtles would worth around Rs 15,000, says report.

Notably, in a similar incident in August last year, forest officials had rescued around 91 turtles of four different species after conducting a joint raid at Rajghat railway station in the same district. Two persons had been held over their involvement in the case at that time.

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