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Tamil Nadu: EDs Search Operation In Sea Cucumber Smuggling Case, Several Cash Receipts, Checks And Incriminating Documents Seized

Tamil Nadu: EDs Search Operation In Sea Cucumber Smuggling Case, Several Cash Receipts, Checks And Incriminating Documents Seized

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Tamil Nadu: ED's search operation in sea cucumber smuggling case, several cash receipts, checks and incriminating documents seized

In the action of the ED, a large number of documents related to the sale, cash receipts, check books and other incriminating documents were seized. (symbolic picture)

Rameshwaram :

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has conducted a search operation at various premises of Vilayutham, the alleged kingpin of sea cucumber smuggling case, in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu on August 9, 2021. According to the ED, this case is of serious environmental offence, which includes smuggling of sea cucumber, an endangered species across the Sri Lankan border. Sea cucumber is known as the ‘cleaner of the sea’. Sea cucumbers play an important role in maintaining the health of the marine ecosystem. Sea cucumbers, also known as Holothurians, are an endangered marine species. They are important components of the ecosystem in the Gulf of Mannar. The product obtained from processed sea cucumbers (Beche-de-Mer) is commercially important and is regarded as a delicacy in China, Japan and Korea. In addition, sea cucumber is known to have medicinal properties.

In the year 2001, the Government of India included all species of sea cucumbers under Schedule-I category of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and completely banned their collection. These animals are also protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The ED started investigation on the basis of cases registered against Vilayutham regarding wildlife cases. The Vilayutham, hotel and residential complex owned by him in Rameswaram was searched by the Enforcement Directorate on August 9, 2021. As a result of the action, a large number of sale documents, cash receipts, check books and other incriminating documents were seized. The sale deed papers and other documents seized during the search revealed that Vilayutham’s property is worth around Rs 5 crore.

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