Nagapattinam, June 2: In one of the biggest seizures in the recent times, the Coastal Security Group of Tamil Nadu Marine Police on Sunday seized 2,500 kilograms of processed sea cucumbers and arrested two persons for attempting to smuggle the endangered marine species at Tata Nagar fishing hamlet near Akkaraipettai in Nagapattinam district.
Police said acting on a tip off, the CSG personnel searched a van in the locality and seized the sea cucumbers packed in gunny bags from the vehicle. Two occupants of the van, namely Muruganandam and Rajkumar were arrested for attempting to smuggle the sea cucumbers to abroad clandestinely via Thoothukudi.
The value of the seized sea cucumbers was estimated at around Rs 1 crore in the International market.Investigations revealed that the sea cucumbers were procured from the local fishermen in small quantities over a period of time and processed by the duo for smuggling.
Sea cucumbers are in great demand not only as delicacy but used for preparing a variety of traditional medicine in countries like China, Taiwan, Singapore and Thailand. They fetch lucrative price in the international market.Poaching of these marine species, listed in Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 was banned in India and several foreign countries. (UNI)