Police seized 108 turtles of a rare species at Shahjalal International Airport early yesterday. The reptiles were about to be smuggled to Thailand by a Bangkok Airways flight.
Members of the Armed Police Battalion (APBn) also arrested two people. Of the two, Kibria, 35, hails from Murshidabad of India, and Khairul Alam, 40, from Tangail.
The reptiles known as “Shila turtles” are black and on the verge of extinction due to illegal exploitation, said SMA Rashid of CARINAM, an NGO working on turtles.
Being tipped-off, APBn members made the arrests at embarkation terminal around 12:45am.
Atiqur Rahman, APBn assistant superintendent of police, said they found the turtles from two pieces of luggage.
The bags that had the turtles bore the name of one Afsana with cell phone number on its tags.
Police said they had tracked that the last two numbers Afsana called belonged to Amena Khatun, a security operator of Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh, and Abdur Rashid, an assistant revenue officer.
A case has been filed under the Special Powers Act against the two arrestees, and Amena and Abdur.
-With The Daily Star input