Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar/Vijayawada: As many as 406 Indian star tortoises were seized by the officials of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) on Tuesday evening at Vijayawada railway station in Andhra Pradesh while being smuggled to Bangladesh via Bhubaneswar.

The DRI sleuths also apprehended two women who were transporting the endangered species in four bags by train.

Both admitted that they were asked to hand over the vulnerable creatures to some persons in Bhubaneswar for export to Bangladesh.

The species has been declared endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and prohibited for export under Foreign Trade policy, sources said.

The seized tortoises were later handed over to Vijayawada Forest Range officer for safe custody, sources added.