The officers of DRI chalked out an intricate all-India plan to arrest the offenders (Representational)
The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) apprehended 6 people with 955 live baby Gangetic turtles of different species at Nagpur, Bhopal and Chennai on Saturday, an official statement said.
According to the Ministry of Finance, intelligence was developed by the officers of DRI about a syndicate involved in the illegal trafficking and trading of 'Turtles of Ganges'.
Based on the information received, the officers of DRI chalked out an intricate all-India plan to arrest the offenders at different locations in the country simultaneously and rescue the turtles.
"Concerted all-India efforts by the officers resulted in the interception of a total of 6 people and a total recovery of 955 live baby turtles of different species at Nagpur, Bhopal and Chennai on Saturday," the release added.
The release informed that the species of Gangetic turtles rescued are the Indian Tent Turtle, Indian Flapshell Turtle, Crown River Turtle, Black Spotted/Pond Turtle and Brown Roofed Turtle.
After the initial seizure under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, of 1972, the perpetrators and Gangetic turtles were handed over to the respective Forest Departments for further investigation.
The operation comes in a series of other such crackdowns over the past months, as DRI continues its resolve to preserve the environment and combat illegal wildlife trafficking.
Some of the species rescued are specified as vulnerable/near threatened species under the IUCN Red List and Schedule I and II of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. Illegal trade, over-exploitation for meat and habitat degradation are major threats to the survival of these species.
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