Bareilly: Three poachers were arrested here with around 30 tortoises meant for smuggling, police said on Monday.
The three men were nabbed Sunday night from Baradari area following a joint operation by forest officials and district police.
"Acting on a tip-off, we raided a hideout, where the men were waiting for their clients for handing over the tortoises to them," Police Inspector RS Saroj told reporters Monday in Bareilly, some 250 km from Lucknow.
"While we managed to arrest the three men, one of their aides managed to flee carrying a bag that also had around 30 tortoises. All the three are from Uttar Pradesh," he added.
A case under Section 9 (prohibition of hunting) and Section 49B (prohibition of animal trading) of the Wildlife Protection Act has been lodged against the three men.
Preliminary investigations reveal that the three men have been involved in the illegal trade of wild animals` skins, hides, antlers and other body parts for the last three years, police said.
Trade of tortoises is banned in India under the 1972 Wildlife Protection Act.