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Smuggling of wild animals on rise again, say officials



MAIL TODAY
New Delhi, May 12, 2015
Ankur Sharma

Smuggling of wild animals and their body parts has again started adding to the worries of officials from various agencies at airports across India.

According to officials posted at the airports, recent cases have shown that smuggling of wild animals has again started gaining pace. According to sources, after almost two years, officials are seeing a frequency in capture of animals and their parts in such large numbers. Flyers are being arrested for trying to smuggle wildlife animals and their parts to various countries, including Malaysia.

Around 11:30 am on March 24 this year, officials noticed a suspected baggage during screening at the Mumbai airport. When they called the owner Thimarayappa Murthy, he initially said these were normal packets. However, when Customs officials and Central Industrial Security Force officials opened it, they found 161 tortoises stacked inside. According to Customs officials, Murthy was supposed to smuggle these tortoises to Malaysia by Malaysia Airlines flight number MH-195.

Similarly, Customs department staff seized two suitcases filled with 183 turtles at the Mumbai airport on April 10. They were being smuggled to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Customs people also arrested two passengers for trying to smuggle these tortoises.

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