100 live turtles were confiscated by the Uttar Pradesh Police after they nabbed a smuggler who deals in the smuggling of turtles and other extinct species on Tuesday.

Bheem (38), who resided in the Ghaziabad district of Uttar Pradesh, was arrested by the police from Geeta Colony yesterday afternoon after he was identified as a suspected smuggler by an informer.

Police confiscated a total of 100 live turtles, which include 50 Indian-roofed turtles, 45 black-spotted pond turtles, three Indian Eye Turtles (Schedule-I) and two Indian soft shield turtles (Schedule-I).

On Tuesday, the police at Geeta Colony Police Station received secret information regarding the arrival of a smuggler of banned turtles in that area.

After verifying the information, at about 1:15 pm, a person was noticed coming on a scooty carrying a big bag from Shakarpur.

The informer identified the scooty driver as the suspect smuggler and at that instance, the suspect was apprehended.

Upon searching the bag, the police found several live turtles. On inquiry, the accused could not give any satisfactory answer regarding the possession of such turtles and bearing the sensitivity of the matter, the accused with the bag containing turtles was brought to the police station.

On being thoroughly checked, a total of 100 live turtles were recovered from the bag and a case under the Wild Life Protection Act and 11(A) Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act was registered at Geeta Colony Police Station. The information was later also passed on to the officials of the Wildlife Department.

Upon further interrogation, the accessed Bheem disclosed that he, along with his associate, Ravi Bhatnagar, have been smuggling turtles and other extinct species as per the demand of customers for a long time.

As per his disclosure, Bheem procures the species of turtle from the Ganga River stretched in the Garhmukteshwar area called Garh Ganga and from the subsidiary rivers.

He further disclosed that recently a case was registered against his associate Ravi Bhatnagar regarding the smuggling of turtles at the Nandgram Police Station in Ghaziabad. The search for co-associate Ravi is also going on.

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