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Customs seize live corals at city airport smuggled in from Dubai

The Pune Customs Department authorities recently seized 466 live coral specimens from two travellers arriving at Pune International Airport from Dubai. According to a news statement, two people were detained as they attempted to cross the Green Channel on April 5.

‘On a thorough search of their bags, 466 specimens of live corals (Order- Scleractinia with various sub-families) covered under Schedule I of Wildlife Protection Act and Appendix II of CITES were seized. The passengers admitted that these were procured for commercial purposes. The specimens seized are under rehabilitation at the Taraporevala Aquarium, Mumbai. Further investigation is on’, the statement read.

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Atul Patne, Commissioner of the department of fisheries said, ‘The Pune customs did a very good job but they were not aware where to keep the corals. Dhruv Sheshadri, joint commissioner from the Customs Department contacted me as he thought that the Fisheries Department would have a proper facility at the Taraporewala Fisheries Museum in Mumbai. We wanted to save the corals, so without wasting any time we made arrangements immediately at night’.



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