12 skins recovered in last one year
The Special Task Force of Odisha Crime Branch arrested two persons and seized a leopard skin on Thursday night.
The skin was seized when the STF team conducted a raid at Bolagarh under Khordha district after a tip off.
Two accused — Sudhir Behera and Subash Behera — who hail from Nayagarh district were arrested.
“The accused persons could not produce any valid authority in support of possession of the leopard skin, for which they have been arrested. The seized leopard skin will be sent to Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, for chemical examination,” said the STF Deputy Inspector General Jai Narayan Pankaj.
Mr. Pankaj said during last one year, the STF has seized as many as 12 leopard skins, six elephant tusk, two deer skin, two live pangolin and five kg of pangolin scales and arrested 24 persona.
Hub of smuggling
The STF, which has launched a campaign to curb wildlife crimes, has issued a telephone number for people to intimate about such incidents. Nayagarh district appears to be the hub of leopard skin smuggling in the State. An elected representative was caught red handed while he was stripping the skin from a dead leopard.
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