Indian held with tortoises in Bangladesh's main airport

16:06, May 24, 2010      

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Immigration officials of Bangladesh's main Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in capital Dhaka has seized a consignment of 480 rare tortoises and arrested a Malaysia- bound Indian national, a senior official said Monday.

The airport's Customs Intelligence Super, Shamsul Islam Khan, told Xinhua "we've rescued 480 live tortoises from two bags and arrested the Indian passport holder Peer Mohammad on Sunday night at about 10:30 p.m. local time."

He said wildlife offender, who is from India's Tamil Nadu, has planned to smuggle out the rare species of tortoises widely known as "Star Tortoise" to Malaysia.

"We're yet to be confirmed whether he (Peer Mohammad) collected the tortoises from India or Bangladesh," Khan said, adding "we've already sent the tortoises to the Dhaka Forest Office for their better protection."

Star tortoises are found mostly in dry areas and scrub forests in many parts of Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka, which are quite popular in the exotic pet trade in many Asian markets.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:张茜)

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