Turtle smuggling racket busted: 40 turtles rescued in Odisha’s Balasore dist

Balasore: The Forest Department busted a turtle smuggling racket in Odisha’s Balasore district on Friday. As many as 40 numbers of turtles were rescued by the Forest officials when the illegal trader was shifting the consignment from Dhamra to West Bengal.

The Forest Department officials of Jaleshwar arrested an illegal turtle trader after conducting raid on a bus at the Rajaghat bypass on the National High Way 60 under Jaleswar Police limits today.

As per reports, after getting a tip off from a reliable source, the Jaleswar Forest Department officials conducted raid on a private passenger bus named Sai Ram at Rajaghat. During the raid they found that a man was illegally shifting turtles.

The forest officials nabbed the man who was shifting as many as 40 numbers of turtles in a bag. Reportedly, he was transferring it to West Bengal. He is from West Bengal. He was on his way to West Bengal from Dhamra. After arresting him the Forest Department is continuing the further investigation.

It is to be noted that on September 7 as many as 87 turtles had been rescued near Rajghat by Jaleswar Forest Department.

Notably, smuggling of turtles, a Class I species of the water animal, is a non-bailable offense under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. Turtles are smuggled for their supposed aphrodisiac properties, to make leather from their skins, medicines, to make potions from their blood and to use as fishing bait.

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