Malkangiri: The Chitrakonda police in Malkangiri district on Friday seized a tortoise-laden pick up van and arrested three persons for carrying the tortoises illegally.
The forest department said that the accused are being interrogated and most likely will be taken to court soon.
According to information, the police have seized as many as 376 tortoises, which were being illegally transported from Andhra Pradesh to Malkangiri.
Later in the day, the forest department sent the tortoises to a nearby tank.
An FIR has been lodged against the three smugglers under Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and they have been produced in the court. These Indian soft shell turtles are in high demand in the market, forest officials said, adding that each turtle will fetch anywhere between `10,000 and `1 lakh in the international market.