Smuggling attempt: Over 1,964 freshwater turtles seized in Pakistan

Smuggling attempt: Over 1,964 freshwater turtles seized in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Custom officials have seized over 1,964 freshwater turtles in Pakistan over the last two years, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar informed the National Assembly on Friday.

“The smuggling of freshwater turtles is on the rise in the country and a large number were seized by custom officials,” Dar said.

Further, he revealed that custom officials seized 1.9 million tonnes of dried meat of fresh water turtles from Karachi. “The estimated cost of this meat was Rs616 million.”

Read: Turtle talk: ‘Wildlife smuggling second-best funding for terrorists’

The freshwater turtle is declared a protected species; however, their smuggling has become increasingly common in Pakistan.

Live water turtles have been seized in Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi.

Earlier this year, what was considered the biggest consignment in the history of Pakistan, custom officials seized the meat of over 4,000 freshwater turtles being smuggled outside Pakistan.

Read: Smuggling attempt: Meat of over 4,000 turtles seized by custom officials

Traffickers have previously exploited lax laws as only a fine of Rs50,000 has been imposed on an entire consignment in the past.