Rare tortoise seizure leads to arrest in Manchester

Indian Star tortoises Indian Star tortoises are worth £270 each

A man from Manchester has been arrested over an alleged plot to smuggle eight live tortoises into the UK.

The animals, worth a total of £2,000, were discovered in a parcel flown from Thailand to a sorting office in Coventry.

The Indian Star tortoise is a rare breed which is protected by international law.

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) said the animals survived their ordeal and are being cared for in quarantine.

Exotic pet trade

UKBA officers made the discovery during a search of freight at the international postal hub in Coventry.

Opening a parcel, they found a plastic lunch box containing eight young tortoises valued at around £270 each.

The Indian Star tortoise (Geochelone elegans) originates from India and Sri Lanka and is popular in the exotic pet trade.

It is one of a number of rare creatures protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

In 2008-09, UKBA officers seized 61,402 CITES items.

A man from south Manchester has been questioned in connection with the discovery.

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More England stories

RSS

Features

  • Atletico's Diego Godin celebrates his goal with teammate David VillaWeek in pictures

    Selection of the best news photographs from around the world


  • Susanne du ToitTop 10 Tips

    Portrait painter Susanne du Toit on being an artist


  • StampsPost Independence

    Will stamps get cheaper if Scots go it alone?


  • Rhea10 things

    Rhea birds can be extremely dangerous, plus other factlets


  • Plane at Shannon airportShannon's call

    The airport that hosted a roll-call of presidents


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.