Seven held in Kolkata for ivory smuggling

 thehindu.com  10/18/2020 19:53:31 

Seven people were arrested in Kolkatas Baguihati area on Sunday for allegedly smuggling ivory. The seizure and the arrests were made on the basis of a specific intelligence developed by the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB). The joint operation was conducted by the WCCB, the Baguihati police station, and the Bidhannagar Police Commissionerate. A case was registered at the Baguihati police station.

Several instances of seizure of ivory and other wildlife products have come to fore in Kolkata and Siliguri. Multiple agencies like the WCCB, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, wildlife wing of the Forest Department, and police have been involved in these seizures.

Pangolin scales, freshwater turtles, geckos, elephant tusks, rhino horns, tiger and leopard skins, and different species of birds are seized on almost a regular basis. While illegal wildlife trade has emerged as a form of organised trans-national crime in India, there have been seizures of highly threatened species like a lion cub and three white-headed langurs near Kolkata over the past few years raising questions on what role has the State to play in these smuggling activities.

Experts say it is the location of the State for which it serves a transit route for smuggling. West Bengal shares a porous 2,216 km border with Bangladesh, while areas in north Bengal like Siliguri are connected to Nepal and Bhutan.

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