Rameswaram: Customs officials seized live sea cucumbers weighing over 800 kg and worth Rs 10 lakh from a boat in the Pamban sea coast yesterday.
A media report said, the sea cucumbers were meant to be smuggled to Sri lanka. Customs officials who were on patrol yesterday intercepted the boat. However, the men on board escaped by jumping into the sea.
The officials are on the look out for the culprits. The boat and the sea cucumbers have been seized. The endangered species would be handed over to the Gulf of Mannar forest officials.
Harvesting of the species has been banned under the Wildlife Protection Act. However, they were being harvested illegally and sent to Sri Lankan and other South East Asian countries where they are used as food and in preparing medicines.