BHUBANESWAR: A Special Task Force (STF) team recovered two pangolins and arrested four persons during a raid at Ambadhia village under Udala police station in Mayurbhanj district on Friday night.
The four were apparently trying to sell the pangolins when the STF team, led by Deputy SP Bilasini Nayak, arrested them and seized the animals. The traffickers were trying to sell the animals at a cost of Rs 22 lakh.
On the basis of intelligent inputs, Honorary Wildlife Warden of Khurda Subhendu Mallik acted as the decoy customer and approached the traffickers to make a deal for pangolin duo. In the meantime, the STF team raided the spot and recovered mother and baby duo alive. Age of the mother pangolin is said to be 6 to 7 years old and the baby around 7 to 8 months.
The accused have been identified as Balia Andhara Judia from Ambadiha, Debendra Das from Manudhia in Basta, Janmenjay Naik from Ambadali and Raghunath Behera from Chakradharpur in Kaptipada. The mother and baby pangolins weigh around 13 kgs.
Pangolin is one of the most poached and traded animals in the world for its scale, meat and bones every year. "We are very happy to save the lives of these two pangolins," Mallick said.
Meanwhile, police has registered cases against the arrested persons seeking action as per the provisions of Wildlife Protection Act 1972.
“Our investigation into the racket is on. The persons arrested during the raids are under interrogation to collect more clues to ascertain the involvement of others and establish their link with other persons arrested earlier in this connection,” STF SP Satyajit Nayak said.
“We are investigating the case from all the angles and trying to find if there is any international links to this racket," he added.
Notably, this is the second time forest and police officials have busted this racket successfully this week.