Three Men Arrested in Bangladesh for Smuggling Tortoises

April 10, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. smuggle / ˈsmʌg əl / (v.) – to import or export something illegally and secretly
Example: Illegal drugs are smuggled into the country through secret luggage pockets.

2. fine / faɪn / (v.) – to require payment from someone as a punishment
Example: Some motorists get fined for illegal parking.

3. custody / ˈkʌs tə di / (n.) – the act of someone, usually a person of authority, taking responsibility for something
Example The recovered goods were placed under the custody of the police.

4. trafficking / ˈtræfɪkɪŋ / (n.) – illegal buying and selling
Example: Cases of drug trafficking are increasing through the years.

5. bribery / ˈbraɪ bə ri / (n.) – the act of giving or accepting payment to do something illegal
Example: Some illegal projects push through because of bribery.


Read the text below.
Three men were arrested for smuggling tortoises in an international airport in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Each of the suspects was fined 100,000 Bangladeshi takas, or around $1,300, for the crime. In addition, two of them were sentenced to one-year imprisonment. The suspects were supposedly employees of Malaysia Airlines (MAS)—a claim that the MAS management denied in an interview.

The smugglers worked with a Bangladeshi Civil Aviation Authority officer, who was able to escape.

The smuggled tortoises were worth more than $250,000. They were contained in three trolley bags and were seized at the Hazrat Shahjalal [haz-RAHT shah-jal-AHL] International Airport. The recovered tortoises were placed under the custody of the country’s Wildlife Crime Control Unit. They were later released at the Bangabandhu [bang-ga-BAN-duh] Safari Park in Gazipur, Bangladesh.

Cases of wildlife trafficking in the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport have increased in recent years. Many have been caught trying to smuggle endangered animals or these animals’ body parts. Some people were caught smuggling tiger cubs, animal skins, elephant tusks, and even a huge number of rare birds.

Authorities assume that the airport’s lenient monitoring and the existence of corrupt officials and bribery were the reasons behind the high incidences of wildlife trafficking. In order to combat the persistent problem, wildlife conservator Tapan Kumar Dey suggested that law enforcers and officials should be more skilled in preventing such illegal practices.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Why do you think the suspects involved tried to smuggle the tortoises?
·         What are other illegal things people do to earn money quickly?

Discussion B

·         Who should be responsible in the prevention of wildlife trafficking (e.g. government, airport officials)? Why do you think so?
·         What could possibly happen in the long run if wildlife trafficking continues?

April 10, 2016