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Man attempting to smuggle tortoises arrested at BIA

File Photo.

Man attempting to smuggle tortoises arrested at BIA

January 8, 2016  11:21 am

A Sri Lankan man has been arrested at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in Katunayake today for attempting to smuggle 41 live tortoises out of the country.

The 39-year-old from Grandpass in Colombo was arrested by staff of the Sri Lanka Customs Biodiversity, Cultural and National Heritage Protection Unit at the Departure Lounge this morning, customs spokesman Leslie Gamini said. 

A total of 41 live tortoises were found concealed in his baggage while he has attempted to smuggle them to Bangkok by flight TG308 at 1.20am. 

Investigations are being carried out by a team led by a Superintendent of Customs, he said.  

Following the customs inquiry held by Deputy Director of Customs, Sithra Jayasena, the forfeited tortoises were ordered to be handed over to the Department of Wildlife while the suspect was imposed a fine of Rs 200,000.

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