The Delhi Police Crime Branch on Sunday claimed to have seized skull, teeth, bones and other body parts of tiger weighing over 18 kg and Rs.52.70 lakh in cash with the arrest of three persons allegedly involved in illegal trade of sale and supply of derivatives of endangered species.

The Crime Branch team had recently received information that one Sarju was involved in the illegal trading of leopard and tiger skins. It was also informed that Sarju and his father Daliya used to be poachers for Sansar Chand, a notorious criminal presently in jail in a case under the Wild Life Protection Act, 1972.

Taking up investigation, the Crime Branch team learnt that Sarju with his accomplice would come near Inter-State Bus Terminus Kashmere Gate in a Tata Manza with the derivatives of the endangered animals. The team swung into action, took along the staff of Forest Department of Maharashtra and Wild Life Crime Control Bureau of Delhi for identification purpose and laid a trap near Chandgi Ram Akhara.

At the instance of the informer, the car was stopped and two persons were arrested.

The two were identified as Suraj Bhan alias Sarju and Naresh alias Lala. A skull, teeth, nails, bones of a tiger weighing more than 18 kg were seized along with some cash. A case was registered under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

Both the accused were subjected to intensive interrogation during which they purportedly disclosed that they have bought the derivatives from a resident of Nagina in Uttar Pradesh. They further disclosed that they were lured by Surajpal alias Chacha of Adarsh Nagar to bring the skin and derivatives of a tiger and were paid Rs.6 lakh in advance for the job. Surajpal, who originally belongs to Uttar Pradesh, was later arrested and Rs.50 lakh seized from his possession. Surajpal, who is allegedly involved in the illegal trade for more than 20 years, receives supply from the poachers of tribes belonging to Sonipat in Haryana and other parts of India. His network of poachers and smugglers is spread all over India, said the police.

It was also revealed during the interrogation that the poachers offered their domestic animals covered with poison as a bait to attract tigers and after eating the same the tiger would die within a radius of 6-10 km. These poachers would keep an eye over the activities of the tiger and immediately after it died, they take it away to their cordoned area.

The skin and all the derivatives are all taken out, dried and applied preservatives before being smuggled.

These products are very much in demand in China and a well-preserved and stuffed tiger fetches several crores in the international market, said the police.