The two women, who are in their mid 40s and hail from West Bengal, were nabbed Friday night near Etawah railway station.
“The two have admitted that they have been working for Kolkata and Bihar-based teams involved in illegal trade of hides, skins and antlers of animals, including those listed under the endangered category,” Government Railway Police (GRP) inspector A.K. Singh told reporters in Etawah, some 300 km from here.
“We are still to ascertain from where they had brought the tortoises. The two are being interrogated,” he added.
Cases have been registered against the two, the official said.
According to GRP officials, some of the tortoises were alive and were handed over to forest officials.
India has banned the trade of tortoises under the 1972 Wildlife Protection Act. Tortoises are killed for their meat and are used in the preparation of some medicines as well, officials said.