Malkngiri: Kalimela forest officials in Malkangiri district today busted a turtle smuggling racket and recovered over 1400 freshwater turtles.
Three persons have been arrested in this connection with seizure of a pickup van.
According to reports, the reptiles were being smuggled from Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh to Odisha.
Acting on a tip-off, Kalimela forest officials waylaid a vehicle bearing Andhra Pradesh registration number (AP 05-TG-2677) and seized the turtles from many plastic containers loaded in the vehicle. As many as 1416 freshwater turtles were recovered from the van.
Meanwhile, the arrested persons are being interrogated to find out more information and involvement of others in the racket.