The Special Task Force (STF) of the Odisha police have busted a gang involved in illegal wildlife trade, and seized two elephant tusks and a leopard skin from it.
“On the basis of reliable information, the STF team conducted a raid in Keonjhar town, where the sale of elephant tusks and a leopard skin was about to take place on Sunday,” said Deputy Inspector-General (STF) J.N. Pankaj.
The three accused — identified as Seikh Hasmati Ali and Chandrakant Dhal of Mayurbhanj district, and Malaya Kumar Rout of Keonjhar district — were apprehended.
“During the search, two elephant tusks, one leopard skin and other incriminating articles were seized from their possession. The accused persons could not give any valid justification for possessing the elephant tusks and the leopard skin,” Mr. Pankaj said.
They have been arrested under Section 379/411 of the IPC, along with 51 of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
The seized elephant tusks and the leopard skin will be sent to Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun for chemical examination.