THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The officials of the Forest Intelligence Wing on Monday nabbed a three-member team with tiger skin from Idavilakom, near Murukkumpuzha, in the district. Santhosh, of Kuttikad, Kadakkal, Mohammed Subair of Kakkanad, Kochi, and Jagadeesh Kumar of Murukkumpuzha were identified as those held. The arrests followed a tip-off received by Assistant Conservator of Forest (Intelligence) B Santhosh Kumar. The officials are investigating the suspected links of the accused with inter-state poachers.
According to a statement from the investigating team, Santhosh is an accused in five forest crimes and seven other criminal cases and has links with the inter-state sandalwood smuggling mafia. The team is on the search for Rajesh, also belonging to Idavilakam, who is suspected to have connections with the attempt to smuggle tiger skin. The accused will be presented before Forest Court, Nedumangad, on Tuesday.
Apart from Santhosh Kumar, the other Forest officials who took part in the operation included Thiruvananthapuram Flying Squad Divisional Forest Officer J R Ani and Palode Range Officer S V Vinod.