Thursday, June 20, 2024

Smuggler held, 108 Indian roof turtles rescued in Lucknow

A joint team of Special Task Force (STF) and Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) has rescued 108 Indian roof turtles and arrested a smuggler from Chowk area of Lucknow.

The team also recovered two mobile phones and a scooter from his possession.

Rinku Kashyap, the accused, was in contact with smugglers from Bihar and was scheduled to travel to West Bengal and Bihar to supply the turtles, said the STF release.

STF DSP Lal Pratap Singh said the team working on the case got a tip-off about the miscreant and nabbed him during a raid.

“Kashyap said he purchased the turtles at Rs 200 each from fishermen in Kakori and Sitapur who caught them from the Gomti river. He said he sold the turtles at Rs 300 each in Bengal, Bihar, Karnataka and Bangalore and they fetched higher rates outside India,” said Singh.

Explaining the high demand and rate of turtles in countries outside India, Kashyap said the calipee of the turtles are dried for manufacturing of stimulants while its flesh is eaten.

Officials of WCCB and the STF said a channel of the caliper trade consisting of poacher-local trader and West Bengal trade route through international smugglers is being studied and a joint network to break into this channel is being strategised.

Efforts are on to establish a network with the Bangladesh government and increase vigil on the border of Bangoan, the border area of West Bengal from where the calipee is carried to Bangladesh.

On the other hand, as per the latest amendment to the Wildlife Protection Act 2022, keeping Indian turtle species at home is prohibited.

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