KARACHI: The Sindh Wildlife Department (SWD) and Gizri police recovered 700 living, endangered turtles and refrigerated turtle meat from a bungalow in Phase-6 of Defence Housing Authority on Friday evening.
“We received a tip that a gang was illegally keeping the turtles in a house and wanted to export the unique turtles to Malaysia,” SWD raid in-charge Muhammad Azeem Kachelo told The Express Tribune, adding that three Chinese nationals, seven Pakistanis and two security guards have also been arrested, who did not reveal anything to the raid team.
170 turtles found inside wheat bags
Each turtle weighed between half to 10 kilogrammes, he said, adding that the turtles are being transferred to the Sindh Wildlife office. The gang will be further investigated and a case will be registered against them, he added.
In April, the Sindh wildlife department recovered 170 black-horn turtles during a raid near Northern Bypass on the Super Highway.
Unfortunately, 11 of the 170 turtles had died of suffocation as they were packed inside wheat bags, said Sindh wildlife department marine conservation in-charge Adnan Mehmood. As soon as the wildlife team approached the location, the smugglers fled, he said. Later, they were released into Keenjhar Lake.
Smuggling attempt: Over 1,964 freshwater turtles seized in Pakistan
The turtles were being smuggled from Taunsa in Punjab to Karachi, from where they would have been shipped to another country, said Mehmood. According to him, black-horn turtles are an endangered species and are worth millions of rupees.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 10th, 2016.
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