Published On: Sat, Jun 24th, 2017

SSB seizes wildlife products worth Rs 2.47 cr, arrests one

Kolkata: The Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) on Saturday said it arrested a smuggler from West Bengal’s Alipurduar district and seized a consignment of wildlife products worth Rs 2.47 crore from his possession.

The arrested trafficker, identified as Badal Tirki, was later handed over to the West Bengal Forest Department

One 540-gm rhino horn worth Rs 1.72 crore and a Tokay Gecko lizard valued at Rs 75 lakh, were seized in a joint operation conducted on Friday by SSB’s 53 Battalion troopers and the Forest Department on a tip-off, an SSB official said.

“The total valuation of seized rhino horn and Tokay Gecko lizard as calculated by forest officials according to international market rate is Rs 2,47,80,000. The wildlife products were to be smuggled from India to China through Bhutan,” the official said.

Tokay Geckos and Rhinos are found in Jaldapara forest and Buxa Tiger reserve and their body parts are smuggled through Alipurduar to Bhutan, from where they are sent to China, the official said.

The arrested trafficker, identified as Badal Tirki, was later handed over to the West Bengal Forest Department. He informed interrogators that he usually gets Rs Rs 5 lakh-Rs 20 lakh per Tokay Gecko as per weight and size.

The SSB, which is mandated to guard the 1,751-km India-Nepal and the 699-km India-Bhutan international borders, has seized wildlife products amounting to more than Rs 129 crore so far this year and arrested 55 traffickers in 61 cases.

 

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