New Delhi, Mar 24 (PTI) The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has seized over 200 Indian star tortoises from a hotel room in Kolkata and arrested two persons in connection with the case.

According to a statement issued by the DRI, the accused had planned to smuggle the tortoises to Bangkok.

Acting on an information that the tortoises were kept in a room of a hotel on Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Road in Kolkata, officers of the DRI mounted a surveillance on the hotel during the night of March 22, the statement said.

Even as the DRI sleuths kept vigil, a person came to the hotel carrying a backpack and a suitcase and entered the room already occupied by another persons.

“DRI officers then entered the room and found the tortoises kept in two bags. A total of 214 Indian star tortoises were found,” it said.

These tortoises are rare and endangered species and are often poached from the wild and sold internationally to be kept as pets and also as ingredients of Chinese medicine.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.