Chennai, March 2 (BPNS)
Coastal Security Group (CSG) of Tamil Nadu police seized 1080 kg of sea cucumber worth crores in the international market from Nagapattinam on Tuesday evening. The CSG conducted the raids following a tip-off that a person was preserving several kilograms of Sea Cucumber illegally, police and CSG conducted a raid at an old building near Akkaraipetti.
During the raids, the CSG could find that a large quantity of sea cucumber was under preservation to be exported out of the country illegally.
The sleuths found that 248 kg of sea cucumber was already preserved and 812 kg was to be preserved. The raids found 4 kgs of sea horse and 15 kg of shark wings that were preserved and seized them. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has classified sea cucumbers as endangered, sea horses as threatened species, and sharks as vulnerable and endangered.
The CSG also found stoves, gas cylinders, tarpaulin sheets that were used for heating and drying the sea cucumber to preserve them. Policemen also seized cold storage boxes and barrels.
Police arrested a person, T. Murugananatham, and said that he was preserving sea cucumber, sea horses and shark wings to be exported illegally to foreign countries.
The police team handed over the seized contraband to the Forest department. The investigation is on to find out whether more persons were involved in the smuggling.