Customs officials at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport seized 557 live turtles at the airport on Sunday.
Tipped off, Customs officials searched five trolley bags lying abandoned on the export freight at about 10:30 pm and recovered the turtles, said Assistant Commissioner (Customs) Riyadul Islam.
The turtles were kept inside the trolley bags to smuggle those out of the country. The people, who were carrying the luggage, fled the scene after being challenged by the Customs officials, the official said.
The Indian Pond Turtles were being smuggled to Vietnam, according to a team from the Forest Department, which rushed to the airport soon after the recovery. A case was filed with Airport Police Station in this connection.