BARIPADA: A team of Jharkhand police on Wednesday seized animal bones alongside cash worth Rs 14 lakh during a search at the house of a wildlife smuggler in Mayurbhanj's Padampur village located within Jashipur police limits.
The team which raided the house of Md Mustaz, who is allegedly a poacher as well as a trader of hides and ivories, was led by superintendent of police and additional SP of Chaibasa district.
During the raid, the police team found bones suspected to be of wild animals in a carton and Rs 14 lakh. The raid was conducted in presence of police and forest officials of Mayurbhanj district. However, Mustaz managed to flee before police reached his house, Jashipur IIC Sarat Kumar Mallik said.
Mustaz apparently runs a gang of six that poaches wild elephants at the tri-junction of Odisha, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
A couple of months ago, an elephant was found beheaded in Majhigaon village under Chainbasa reserve forest area which was being investigated by the Jharkhand Police. Five of the gang members were arrested who later named Mustaz. They also accompanied the police to determine his house in Padampur. Police suspect that Mustaz had been paid Rs 14 lakh for poaching of the Majhigaon elephant for ivory.
"The police team has handed custody of the bones to Jashipur Range Officer Himangshu Sathua. The bones will be sent for testing to ascertain who they belong to," said assistant conservator of forest (ACF) Batakrushna Padhi.