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Uzbek woman held with 2,000 tortoises

France,Crime/Disaster/Accident,Environment/Wildlife, Thu, 05 Apr 2012 IANS

Moscow, April 5 (IANS/RIA Novosti) A 64-year-old Uzbek woman has been detained in Russia while trying to smuggle over 2,000 tortoises into the country, the interior ministry said.


According to the ministry's transport department, the woman was detained in Orenburg city in the Urals region. The reptiles were found stuffed into bags.


"A total of 2,245 tortoises were found in the woman's bags," the department said.


The woman said she brought them from the Uzbek city of Ferghana "to help a family couple".


The animals were bound for the Volga region's Samara city, and were destined to be cooked in luxury restaurants.


The woman was charged with violating animal quarantine rules, an offence punishable with a fine of up to 500,000 rubles. She will be deported, along with her cargo.


--IANS/RIA Novosti




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