Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Brahmapur, Jul 14:
The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB), a statutory multi-disciplinary body set up by the Centre under the Ministry of Environment and Forests to combat organized wildlife crime in the country, has arrested one person and seized around one kg of pangolin shells from him in the southern Odisha city of Brahmapur, Forest department officials said today.
Divisional Forest Officer (Berhampur) SS Mishra said the culprit, identified as Hazi Ispat of Mochi Street locality of Brahmapur, was arrested during a raid conducted on Monday.
The DFO said a team of WCCB officials and local forest officers conducted the raid in which one kg of pangolin shells were seized from him.
On July 5, Buguda police had arrested four persons and had unearthed an inter-state pangolin shell export racket at Buguda in Ganjam district and had seized over 10-kg of pangolin-shells from their possession.
The arrested were identified as Jadasura Nayak of Namaguda in Gajapati district, Muralidhara Himirika of Therubali in Rayagada district, Yudhistira Patra of Manjusha and S Naresh of Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh.
The accused persons were suspected to be members of a racket that exports the pangolin shells.
Pangolin shells are in great demand in foreign countries – particularly China, Vietnam and Cambodia – where it is believed to be a cure for medical conditions related to blood circulation, cancer and lactation problems, the sources said.
One kg of pangolin shell is worth around Rs 60,000 in the international market, the sources revealed.