Assam: Four smugglers arrested with leopard bones and skin

Assam: Four smugglers arrested with leopard bones and skin

GUWAHATI, May 18 2017: Four persons, including a government employee from Arunachal Pradesh, were arrested along with leopard bones and skin from Assam’s Sonitpur district on Tuesday evening.

All of them were arrested during an operation by Kaziranga National Park (KNP) officials and police in the Daflagarh area near the inter-state border, about 350 km from here. They have been identified as Tana Butra (24), Telineeku Camder (32), Techi Papu (26) and Techi Atung (35). Atung is an employee of Arunachal Pradesh’s health department.

“We had information that four persons were coming to Gohpur with animal parts to sell them off. Accordingly, we laid a trap and caught them red-handed. They possessed the entire skeletal structure of a leopard, including the skull. During interrogation, they revealed they had come to sell the items for Rs 3 lakh,” said an official of KNP’s northern range.

KNP officials said all the four are from the Balijan area of Papum Pare district of Arunachal Pradesh.

“We are also trying to extract information from them about the persons who wanted to sell off leopard parts,” the official said.

The latest arrests came after KNP officials, along with police, arrested one Ghanashyam Gupta of Biswanath Chariali bordering Sonitpur, with tiger skin and bones last month. The arrested person is a middleman who took the articles from someone to give it to another trader.
Wildlife crime experts said the two incidents have brought to the fore the thriving inter-state racket of illegal trade in animal parts which are usually smuggled to Myanmar through Manipur’s border town Moreh. From Myanmar, the animal parts are sent to China and other Southeast Asian countries where they are used to make traditional medicines. Tiger bones are high in demand in China for traditional medicines.
Experts said the incidents indicated that smugglers have set their eyes on the biodiversity-rich Arunachal Pradesh for wildlife parts and Assam has become the conduit.
Source: The Times Of India




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