With the arrest of two wildlife criminals, the Special Task Force (STF) wing of Odisha police arrested a member of an organized racket thriving on smuggling pangolins, an endangered animal conferred highest protection under wildlife protection act.
The accused persons identified as Sibananda Mallick and Rastra Bhoi were apprehended near Jamapalli village under Baliguda police station jurisdiction of Kandhamal district on Thursday and a live pangolin was recovered from his possession. They were nabbed while carrying out a deal to sell the protected animal, said STF officials.
With the latest interception of wildlife crime, the STF has made recovery of seven live pangolins during separate raids in different places of the State in 2021.
The wild animal, a schedule-1 animal under wildlife protection act and highly endangered species, is accorded highest protection under law. The accused person was later remanded to judicial custody under Sections-9, 39 and 49 (B) of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and relevant sections of Indian Penal Code.
During the last one year, STF in a special drive against wildlife criminals has made a seizure of as many as 20 leopard skins, 11 elephant tusks, 2 deer skins, 7 live pangolins and 15 kg pangolin scales. A total of 45 wildlife criminals have been remanded to judicial custody this year.