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Smuggling of sea cucumbers to China: CBI takes over probe

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New Delhi, Apr 24: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has taken over the probe which involves the smuggling of sea cucumbers. The case was taken over from the Forest Department of Lakshadweep.

Smuggling of sea cucumbers to China: CBI takes over probe

The sea cucumbers are protected under the Wildlife (Protection) Act. The marine animal found on the sea floor is an endangered species and there is a huge market for it in China, Japan and Southeast Asia. In these countries, it is eaten either in a raw or dried form. Further, sea cucumbers also have medicinal properties.

Four persons have been booked by the CBI and the case relates to the hunting of 46 live sea cucumbers and 173 Taxidermized Cucumbers from the sea.

The agency which is looking into the gangs behind this racket said that the sea cucumbers are very important for protecting the coral islands of Lakshadweep. It is also important for the marine ecosystem as is a tiger in the wildlife, the CBI also said.'

According to the FIR, information was received that some fishing boats are engaged in illegal collection and trade of sea cucumber, which is locally known as Koka. The investigators had found a fishing board named Khyber 2 in the sea with four people on the western side of the island. When the team enquired, they informed that they were there for fishing and had collected fish. When the team checked the boat, it found eight bags with 98 big white dead sea cucumbers stuffed with salt, the FIR read.

On probing further, the investigation team found sea cucumbers. There were 46 live sea cucumbers among these, which were immediately released in the sea. The FIR was filed against Lakshadweep residents, Salmanual Faris, Irfanuddin, Ramesh Khan and Mohammad Ali Kodipalli.

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