Bid to smuggle Rs 5.45 cr worth sea cucumbers in Lakshadweep; Customs to probe case
Kochi: Customs Department will initiate probe into the smuggling of Rs 5.45 crore worth sea cucumber in Lakshadweep. A team of Customs will reach Lakshadweep for this shortly. A plea will be filed in Amini Magistrate Court seeking custody of seven people who were nabbed by Wildlife Protection Force in Lakshadweep for smuggling sea cucumber. They will be interrogated at Kochi.
The watchers in Thinakkara camp nabbed the sea cucumber smugglers on March 11. Seven of the nine-member gang were nabbed from Perumal Par island. There were 486 sea cucumbers in their boat. The Customs suspect that the smugglers have international connection.
Sea cucumber is mainly smuggled to China, Korea and Myanmar. It has medicinal qualities and is mainly used to make soup. Sea cucumber fetches upto Rs 2 lakh per kilogram in international market. Sea cucumbers are more found in Lakshadweep, Andaman-Nicobar Islands, Palk Strait, Gulf of Kutch and Gulf of Mannar.
Sea cucumber is a marine animal that is found in cylindrical shape in the sea floor. They feed on algae, small marine creatures and fertile soil. These are collected by diving into the sea.