By AFOP, Aug 8 2012 10:09AM
By AFOP, August 8th 2012
Police in Bangladesh have arrested two people at Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka after they attempted to smuggle 108 rare turtles to Bangkok, Thailand. The two men, one from India and one from Bangladesh, had their bags searched at the airport by Bangladeshi customs officials who found 50 turtles stuffed tightly in one bag and 58 in another. The turtles were still alive when discovered, wrapped in scotch tape.
Whilst being interviewed, both men confessed to smuggling endangered turtles, protected by law under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species(CITES). The men told police that a woman handed over the tortoises to the men for them to smuggle whilst they received help from a security operator from the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) and an employee from the customs office. Police have now filed a case against the two suspects and the CAAB employee and customs office employee under the Special Powers Act, a law established in 1974 to prevent illegal activities including smuggling endangered wildlife to be sold on the black-market.
The turtles are now in the safe custody of Bangladesh’s assistant forest conservator Rafiqul Islam and will remain under his care until authorities decide what to do with the rare turtles.
According to Bangladesh’s forest department, 8 animal species have become extinct in Bangladesh over the last several decades and almost all of the countries native species are currently classified as critically endangered by the IUCN due to poaching, wildlife trafficking and habitat loss.
MSN News India-
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