Malaysian customs seized 330 endangered tortoises smuggled from Madagascar and worth about 300,000 dollars, at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, media reports said on Monday.
The report added that the tortoises were found alive in five boxes labelled “stones” comprising five Ploughshare tortoises and 325 Indian Star tortoises on an Etihad Airways flight.
“This is our first case involving the Indian Star and Ploughshare species.
“The tortoises that are usually smuggled into the country are the smaller Black Pond type,’’ Abdull Wahid, deputy director of customs, said.
Ploughshare tortoises are usually kept as pets and can be sold for 4,000 dollars, while the Indian Star tortoise is smaller in size and typically sold for about 1,000 dollars.
“No arrests have been made so far,’’ the report said.