Two individuals who landed at Tiruchi international airport in Tamil Nadu from Kuala Lumpur on Friday were detained and 6,850 live red-eared slider turtles were seized, according to officials.
“The AIU officials of Tiruchi intercepted the two travellers at the airport exit gate after acting on specific intelligence. Each passenger’s pram bag included young, live turtles that the officers discovered after inspecting their checked luggage, according to officials.
One of the passengers also had foreign currency worth 57,441 retrieved from them, they said.
The live wild turtles were allegedly attempted to be illegally smuggled into India without proper import documentation or licences to bring in wildlife.
The Red-eared slider turtles are currently being deported back to their place of origin.
The two arrested will appear before the Judicial Magistrate after the officials recorded the case in accordance with the terms of the Customs Act, 1962.
Further investigation is underway.