Chennai, Oct 30 (UNI) Air customs officials seized 540 live star tortoises, valued at Rs 4.5 lakh in the international market, from a Malaysian bound passenger at the Anna International airport here late last night.
Airport source said the tortoises were seized from the baggage of Abu Dhali U (35), hailing from Ilayangudi in Ramanathapuram district, when he was about to board a Malaysian Airlines flight to Kuala Lumpur.
He was arrested and remanded in custody.
This is the second seizure in the last three days after the air customs officials had seized more than 500 live tortoises from a Kuala Lumpur bound passenger on October 27.
In recent times there has been spurt in smuggling of star tortoises to Malaysia and other southeast Asian countries, where they have a huge demand for their medicinal value.