6,400 smuggled turtles recovered

6,400 smuggled turtles recovered

6,400 smuggled turtles recovered

In one of the biggest such hauls in India, the Uttar Pradesh Police seized 6,400 freshwater turtles stuffed in bags which were destined for China and other Southeast Asian countries as part of a massive smuggling network.

Raj Bahadur Singh, the kingpin of an inter-state gang involved in smuggling of turtles, was arrested in the raid carried out at Gauriganj town of Amethi on Tuesday, a Special Task Force (STF) spokesperson said here.

The turtles, weighing 440 quintals, were found stuffed in sacks and lay scattered on the ground inside the compound of Singh’s house.

“We have recovered such a huge amount of turtles from one single location.

“We are investigating this further and looking at the involvement of more people in the smuggling ring,” said Additional Superintendent of Police Arvind Chaturvedi, who led the STF raid.

During interrogation, Singh disclosed that small poachers were involved in catching turtles from Gauriganj, Jagdishpur and Salwan areas and supplying them to organised smugglers, the official said.

There is a high demand for turtles abroad for their meat and use in occult activities, and also used as aphrodisiacs.