BHUBANESWAR: What is ‘pipe’ on the online market place? While a ‘pipe’ could mean a number of things, those dealing with wildlife articles know it is a code word for ‘ivory’. Similarly, ‘double engine’ or ‘scooter’ means Sand Boa snake while ‘four wheeler’ means tortoise and ‘aloo’ is musk. With Internet emerging as a big space for illegal wildlife trade, the Crime Branch (CB) has stepped up its monitoring and asked police stations to maintain web patrolling to detect illegal traders.
The CB has requested the inspectors- in-charge (IICs) and officers- in charge (OICs) to collect information about various code names and keywords used by the illegal traders over the Internet to sell the contrabands.
For example, ‘dhariwala chaddar’ means tiger skin while ‘chhota dhariwala chaddar’ is leopard skin. The agency has beefed up surveillance after it busted a racket selling body parts of monitor lizards at Bhubaneswar through online advertisement. The seller was advertising sexual organs of the animal as ‘hatha jodi’ which is believed to be a plant root used in tantric practices.
Over 200 such body parts were seized during a joint raid which was led by CB. The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB), which has been cracking down against such trade, had also found ivory being sold online. Special DG of CB BK Sharma said, “Police officers are being asked to identify species which are commonly offered for sale online so that enforcement can be intensified.”
The CB has also asked police in all the districts to carry out intelligence- based operations to detect such trade on portals, social media platforms apart from individuals involved in the smuggling. Expert agencies in and outside the State should also be contacted by the police to check the trade, the agency said in a circular.