CHENNAI: A total of 1,364 star tortoises were seized by Chennai Air Cargo Customs at air cargo export shed in Meenambakkam. It was being smuggled to Malaysia, according to a release. As per the shipping bill, goods were declared as 230 kg of live crab. The subject shipment was Risk Management System (RMS) facilitated which was not meant for examination.
On suspicion, Air Cargo Intelligence Officers examined the cargo and found seven out of 13 packages contained 1,364 Indian Star Tortoises. Star Tortoises are listed as an endangered species in CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) Appendix-I and are covered under schedule-IV of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972. The tortoises were handed over to the Tamil Nadu Forest Department.