Six held with leopard skin, pangolin scales in Bhubaneswar

Skins of a fishing cat skin and a leopard cat along with over 26 kg pangolin scales were also recovered from the accused during a raid.
The accused with the seized wildlife items | Express
The accused with the seized wildlife items | Express(Photo | Express)

BHUBANESWAR: In a major crackdown against poaching and illegal smuggling of wildlife items, the Forest department on Sunday busted an inter-state racket with the arrest of six persons from Gajapati district and seizure of five leopard hides.

Skins of a fishing cat skin and a leopard cat along with over 26 kg pangolin scales were also recovered from the accused during a raid. Sharing more details, PCCF Wildlife and chief wildlife warden Susanta Nanda said the accused have been forwarded to the local court, while the department is in the process of nabbing the kingpin of the inter-state gang. Sources said, acting on intelligence input, a team of Paralakhemundi forest division carried out the raid and detained the six along with the wildlife items.

Forest officials also recovered five phones from the accused. Further investigation to establish forward and backward linkage of the smuggling is on. The kingpin and all the poachers involved in the racket will be apprehended soon, forest officials said. More than 100 leopard skins have been seized by the enforcement agencies in the state in last six years pointing at rampant poaching of the big cats.

The Special Task Force of Crime Branch has seized about 57 leopard skins between 2019 and 2024 while Forest department had also reported seizure of 59 hides from 2018 to 2023.

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com