India: The Marine police of the Coastal Security Group (CSG) have seized about 150 kg of sea cucumber, an endangered species, protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act.
A Marine police team, which was on regular patrolling in the Mandapam area, was checking the boats on Sunday when it found the species packed in eight bags and loaded in a country boat. Those who were engaged in collection and transportation of sea cucumber fled after seeing the police party.
The police, with the help of Fisheries department, found that the boat belonged to Ayub Khan in Mandapam and seized the boat.
Mandapam Forest Range Officer S. Sathish registered a case. The seized sea cucumbers would be presented before a magistrate court and would be destroyed after getting a court order, he said.
The modus operandi was that the smugglers after buying sea cucumbers in bulk from fishermen, processed them by boiling and drying before smuggling them to countries such as Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, either through Sri Lanka or directly, police said.
The species commanded good demand in those countries as people consumed them for the medicinal values, police said.
(Source: The Hindu)