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CID raids Dhulagarh toll plaza, seizes endangered soft-shell turtles; 4 detained

Kolkata: A team of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has seized around 1,799 turtles among which 700 have died due to unhealthy transportation, an official said.
Acting on a tip-off, the CID officials raided Dhulagarh toll plaza area on Saturday morning and intercepted truck which was carrying huge amount of endangered species of Indian soft shell turtles. The seized turtles were taken to the rehabilitation centre in Salt Lake later in the day. They were of different sizes.
CID officials, however, claimed that this is probably their highest catch and second highest in India as reported by the WCCB. The market value of the seized turtles would be around Rs 20,00,000. The CID officials of Saturday morning came to know from their sources that a consignment of turtles smuggled from Bhubaneswar would be passing through National Highway 6. They were being brought from North 24-Parganas. Wild Life Crime Control Bureau and the state Forest department were informed about the incident and their assistance was sought as they were the competent authority and experts in handling animals.
Afterwards, the joint team raided two places including Dhulagarh toll tax area and intercepted the truck. Four persons have been detained in this connection so far — Uttam Singha (businessman), Nitai Das (businessman), Dipankar Mondal (driver's assistant) and Debasish Das (driver). Police came to know that among the four, Singha and Das used to deal in turtles.
When the CID officials started a search operation, they found that the boxes containing the turtles were covered with fish. As they went ahead and removed the cover and the fish, the turtles were spotted. The truck has been seized.
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