The Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force has seized 1,300 Indian flap shell turtles from a truck in Kanpur while they were allegedly being taken to West Bengal for smuggling out of the country. The Senior police official T.B. Singh said that the truck driver Rambrash Yadav and helper Vinod Kumar Savira have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the smuggling racket.
The turtles, being smuggled to Bangaon in West Bengal, were found stuffed in sacks on Sunday and some even lay scattered on the floor of the truck.
"We are further investigating and looking at the possible involvement of more people in the smuggling racket," the police official said.
During interrogation, the arrested men confessed to the STF officials that a number of poachers were involved in catching turtles from Etah, Etawah and Farrukhabad in Uttar Pradesh and supplying them to organized smugglers for transportation to Kolkata.
From West Bengal, the turtles are then smuggled out of the country to China, Thailand, Hong Kong and other Southeast Asian countries via Bangladesh and Myanmar, the STF official said.