File (Image courtesy National Geographic)

A Sri Lankan national was arrested at the Departure Lounge of the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) this morning while trying to smuggle out 41 live tortoises concealed in his baggage.

The 39-year-old resident of Grandpass, Colombo, was taken into custody by the Bio Diversity, Cultural and National Heritage Protection Unit staff of Sri Lanka Customs. The suspect had been trying to smuggle the live tortoises onto a flight traveling to Bangkok. Further investigations are ongoing.