Kolkata, March 18:
The BSF on Wednesday seized nearly 100 rare Asian Black Spotted turtles while they were being smuggled to Bangladesh via the international border in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district, officials said.
The turtles are valued at over Rs.58 lakh in the international market.
Acting on intelligence inputs, troopers of the Border Security Force’s 152 battalion made the seizure during a special operation near Kalanchi border outpost.
On being challenged by the BSF, a smuggler dropped a bag in a field and fled, taking advantage of the thick forested area.
On searching the bag, 97 turtles were recovered, a BSF officer said.
The seized turtles have been handed over to the forest department.
The species is threatened as its meat is considered a delicacy in many areas. It is also kept as a pet.
The species is highly endangered in Bangladesh and Myanmar.
It fetches more than $2,000 each in Southeast Asian markets.
The BSF in January had made a similar seizure of 185 turtles valued Rs.1.11 crore from the same area. (IANS)