BHUBANESWAR: In a major haul, a joint team of Dhenkanal Forest Division and Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) Central Region seized 14.2 kg pangolin scales from Damodarnali area of Kapilash range in Dhenkanal district and arrested two persons on Sunday.
DFO Prakash Chand Gogineni said the scales were seized on the basis of the intelligence input from the WCCB. This is one of the biggest seizures of pangolin scales in the Dhenkanal division so far.
He said accused Ratnakar Rout (51) and Firoj Khan (52), both from the Dhenkanal town, had stored the pangolin scales at a godown in Banasinga area of Sarangi range in the division.
Acting on the intelligence input, a joint team of Dhenkanal Forest Division and WCCB Central Region, Jabalpur posing as customers struck a deal with the smugglers and apprehended them with the scales at Damodarnali area of Kapilash range on Saturday night.
The amount of scales recovered from the two accused gives a clear indication that at least six to seven pangolins have been illegally hunted, Gogineni said.
He said from preliminary investigation it has come to light that the duo was collecting scales from poachers within Dhenkanal and nearby areas. They, however, had not been able to sell it due to Covid-19 pandemic.
The joint team has seized a two-wheeler and two mobile phones from their possession.
“We are examining their contact details to find out others involved in this illegal trade and operation,” the DFO said.
After Covid test, the duo will be produced in Court where the Dhenkanal division will seek their remand for further investigation.
This is the biggest seizure of pangolin scales in the state since June this year.
On June 11, the special task force of Crime Branch had also seized pangolin scales weighing 4.82 kgs from Balichua village in Mayurbhanj district and had arrested one Suren Prusty.