Lucknow: The Special Task Force (STF) of the Uttar Pradesh Police on Sunday recovered 295 freshwater turtles being smuggled to make aphrodisiacs, officials said.
The recovery was done in a joint operation with the WCCB (Wildlife Crime Control Bureau) and the forest department in Banthara area in this district on Sunday. The STF also arrested a person who is allegedly a member of a gang involved in the smuggling of protected animals.
Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Ravi Singh said, “A total of 295 freshwater turtles have been recovered from the smuggler.”
The STF arrested one Wasim for smuggling protected animals. The accused have been booked under relevant sections of the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.
The accused informed police that they were to supply the animals to be used as food or being kept as pets. The body parts of turtles, according to the accused, were used to make aphrodisiac medicine.
According to a press statement issued by the STF, the turtles were caught from swamps and rivers in the terai area of the district. The turtles were also smuggled to the south East Asian countries by smugglers via Bangladesh and Myanmar.
The recovered turtles were sent to the rescue centre of the forest department.