The Soorankudi police seized a cargo autorickhsaw with 955 kg of sea cucumber as it was about to be smuggled to an undisclosed destination.
The police who were on a patrol, spotted the cargo vehicle near Vembar around 2 a.m. When the police approached the vehicle, five persons fled the spot while one K. Avulmaideen, 43, of nearby Nariappaiyoor was picked-up.
On checking the vehicle, they found that sea cucumber, a Schedule I species under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, had been loaded.
Avulmaideen told the police that he and his associates had purchased sea cucumber from a person in Thoothukudi and had come to Vembar, a coastal hamlet, to sell it to a local person.
Police suspect that the sea cucumber was on its way to Sri Lanka.
Further investigations are on.