Endangered wildlife species worth Rs 7 crore seized in Chennai

Chennai: The customs officials carried out a raid at a godown in Chennai yesterday and seized 660 kg of wildlife species worth Rs 7 crore which were meant for smuggling out of the country from Mumbai.

Seahorses, dried pipefish, Pangolin scales, manta and mobula ray gills and shark fins were among the endangered wildlife species recovered in the raid. The two detained men, reportedly business partners, procured the live species from Rameswaram and Kasimedu and processed them at the godown.

Issuing a release, Commissioner of Customs (Preventive) Rajan Chaudhary said officers on Monday nabbed two persons who had confessed to the crime. They found the species in plastic crates and bags. The contraband would be smuggled to China and south Asian countries from Mumbai.

While Pangolin scales, seahorse, pipefish, manta and mobula ray gills are used for traditional Chinese medicine, shark fins are used for soup preparation in China.

The detained men have been handed over to State forest officials for further action.

NT Bureau