Police seized 108 species of turtles at Shahjalal International Airport earlier today while they were being smuggled to Thailand by a Bangkok Airways flight.
Members of Airport Armed Police Battalion (APBn) arrested the two people, including an Indian national, on charge of smuggling the reptiles.
The arrested were, Kibria, 35, hailing from Murshidabad in India, and Khairul Alam, 40, of Basail in Tangail.
S M A Rashid of CARINAM, an NGO that works on turtles, said the seized reptiles known as 'Shila Turtle' are black in colour and on the verge of extinction due to rapid shrink of their habitat and illegal exploitation.
Tipped off, APBn members arrested Kibria and Khairul at embarkation terminal around 12:45am (local time), as they were trying to check in for Thailand-bound PG-746 flight. They then searched their luggage and found the turtles.
"We later brought them to our office and at dawn in presence of assistant forest conservator Rafiqul Islam Chowdhury and other intelligence people found 50 turtles in one bag and 58 in another," APBn Assistant Superintendent of Police Atiqur Rahman was quoted by the The Daily Star as saying.
The turtles still alive were wrapped in scotch tape.
The tags of luggage containing the turtles were bearing the name of one Afsana with her cellphone number.
Police said more concerning to them is that they have found a Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh's (Caab) security operator and an assistant commissioner of customs on duty at the airport had conversations with Afsana over her cellphone.
Police filed a case under the Special Powers Act with the Airport Police Station against the two arrestees and the Caab security operator and the customs assistant commissioner.
The turtles have been kept under the custody of Rafiqul, a statement said.