Unidentified suspects took away 1,200kg meat of turtles and pangolins worth Rs2 million from an office of the Sindh wildlife department located in Karachi's red zone near Governor House, officials said on Saturday.

The wildlife department officials said the dacoits reportedly overpowered the watchman before looting the meat but police suspect the crime was an ‘inside job’.

Sindh Wildlife Con­servator Javed Mahar told Dawn that three unidentified suspects arrived at the building on Friday night, held the watchman Abdul Qayum hostage and tied him up with rope.

Subsequently, they headed straight to the place inside the premises where ‘dry’ meat of turtles and pangolins was kept, and took away 1,200kg of it whose value was estimated to be over Rs2 million.

Mahar revealed that two months ago the wildlife department had seized the meat, which is often smuggled to South East Asian countries where it has a big market. The officer said that it was a "case property".

Also read: The pangolin died — yes, it matters

The incident has been reported to Artillery Maidan police station.

Saddar SP Abdullah Ahmad told Dawn that the wildlife department has only reported the case but did not lodge an FIR. The officer suspected that the theft of meat might be an "inside job".

SP Ahmad added that the watchman was also "changing" his statement about the incident, which gives rise to suspicions about the involvement of internal persons in the incident.

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