210 star tortoises seized at Chennai airport
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CHENNAI: Customs officials at the Chennai airport seized 210 star tortoises from two passengers on Sunday night.
The live star tortoises were concealed in a sweet box in their suitcase. The sweet box contained chocolates. When the officials removed layers of chocolates, they found two plastic boxes with start tortoises in them. The plastic boxes had holes to help the tortoises breathe.
The two passengers, Safur Ali, 33, and Mohamed Tamim Ansari, 27, were to travel to Bangkok with the star tortoises. They were handed over to the forest department for action.
Export of tortoises is forbidden under the Wildlife Protection Act. The tortoises are in demand in Southeast Asian countries as food and as pets.
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