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Bangladesh seizes 400 tortoises at airport

Bangladesh customs agents seized more than 400 tortoises being smuggled in three suitcases through the country's main airport on Tuesday, an official said.


By Agence France-Presse

Tuesday 17 April 2012, 06:39PM


Two Indian citizens were arrested in connection with the seizure at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in the capital Dhaka, customs officer Showkat Ara said.

"The tortoises were carried in three suitcases. They were smuggled to Bangladesh from India and were being taken to Bangkok," Ara told AFP.

The animals, worth an estimated three million taka ($37,000) on the black market, will be kept at a conservation centre, she said.

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Government conservationist Tapan Kumar told AFP the seizure was the largest in recent years and it included three types of endangered tortoises, including Star Tortoises, commonly used for oriental medicines.

Officials said there has been a spike in incidents of exotic animal poaching in recent months.

 

 

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