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STF busts wildlife smuggling racket in Odisha

Acting on a tip-off, the STF sleuths flanked by Karanjia forest division officials conducted a raid near a canal embankment at Padagada village in Jasipur police station jurisdiction and arrested the 25-year-old wildlife criminal Nanda Bage.

Statesman News Service | Bhubaneswar |

A wildlife smuggling racket was busted in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district on Wednesday with the Special Task Force (STF) of crime branch wing making a seizure of wildlife trophies including leopard teeth and claws.

Acting on a tip-off, the STF sleuths flanked by Karanjia forest division officials conducted a raid near a canal embankment at Padagada village in Jasipur police station jurisdiction and arrested the 25-year-old wildlife criminal Nanda Bage.

Two leopard teeth, 29 leopard claws, 3.5 KGs pangolin scales besides 46 live parakeets were seized from his possession, STF officials informed.

“The accused person could not produce any authority in support of possession of such trophies, hence those were seized. The apprehended person and the seized trophies were handed over to Divisional Forest Officer Karanjia for necessary legal action at their end. Further investigation is continuing”, added the officials.

The accused person was planning to strike a deal with prospective buyers to sell the wildlife products when he was nabbed.

“The arrested person is suspected to be the mastermind of the racket. Efforts are on to trace the others involved in the criminal activity and ascertain as to how the animals like leopard and pangolin were killed,” said the officials.

During the last two years, the STF has intensified its special drive against the wildlife criminals and poachers and seized as many as 25 leopard skins, 13 elephant tusks, 7 deer skin, 11 live pangolins and 19.5 kg pangolin scales, two leopard teeth, 29 leopard claws and 26 live wild parrots while 58 wildlife criminals were also arrested.