Lucknow: Making a breakthrough in checking smuggling of turtles from UP to South East Asian countries, a team of forest officials recovered 124 turtles from Mainpuri district and arrested a gang member involved in the racket.
A team of forest department conducted a raid in Nagla Rateh area in Mainpuri district yesterday on a tip off and recovered 124 turtles, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Manish Singh, who led the team told PTI.
Of the 124 turtles, 100 are Black Pond turtles, 20 Indian mud turtles and 4 Softshell Turtles, he said.
During the raid, one Jitendra resident of Nagla Rateh was arrested while the kingpin of the smuggling gang Akhilesh resident of the same village managed to fled. An FIR has been registered in this regard against the accused.
Turtle smuggling from Mainpuri and nearby regions is being reported for a while.
“These turtles are smuggled to South East Asian countries where they are served as delicacies. In the past also, turtles were rescued from other parts of Mainpuri”, the officer said.
The turtle smuggling has taken shape of an organised crime and the accused Akhilesh is the main kingpin, police said.
Efforts are on to nab Akhilesh.