Sea cucumber seized, five arrested

Rameswaram: About 900 kilograms of sea cucumber, an endangered marine species, were seized today and five persons arrested in this connection near here, official sources said.

Coast Guard officials, who were patrolling in the sea, found the sea cucumber packed in 29 bags in four boats and seized it, the sources said.

The sea cucumbers, worth about Rs 50 lakh, were meant for smuggling to Sri Lanka, they said.

Though fishing and trading of sea cucumber is banned by the Centre since 2002, it is smuggled in large numbers to Japan, Indonesia and Sri Lanka, where people believe it has medicinal properties, the sources said.