Balasore: Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel at the Rupsa railway station on Sunday arrested three persons while they were allegedly trying to smuggle 45 live turtles to Kolkata.
The arrested persons, Anadi Sasamal, Uttam Mandal and Ashok Paria of Dantan area of West Bengal had reportedly collected the turtles from Sakhigopal area of Puri and were on their way to Sealdah market in Kolkata to sell the species. While preliminary questioning of the accused revealed that a racket was behind the turtle smuggling, the mastermind is yet to be nabbed.
Range Officer, Chandipur, Debendra Nath Patra said, “The RPF personnel seized the turtles and later handed over the species to us. Preliminary inquiry shows the accused had collected the turtles from Sakhigopal and were on their way to sell them in Kolkata. The turtles will be released into the Kuldiha sanctuary.”
Earlier in January, 51 turtles were seized at Jaleswar railway station while being smuggled in a train.