Pangolin Smuggling Racket: 3 Including Kingpin Arrested In Odisha

Bhubaneswar: In a major breakthrough in the pangolin smuggling racket, Athagarh Forest officials arrested three persons including kingpin Ali from Naraj area in Cuttack district on Friday.

Athagarh DFO SasmitaLenka informed that Ali was nabbed based on crucial information elicited during interrogation of a Divyang accused, who was recently arrested from Naraj in connection with the illegal wildlife trade. The two other accused have been identified as Santosh and Hadibandhu.

“Based on the information, we had set up a trap to nab the kingpin. We had lured the accused on the pretext of selling pangolin scales to him,” said Lenka.

Lenka further informed that the kingpin used to smuggle pangolins by using formalin on the dead animals and concealing them inside fish consignments. We suspect the involvement of some more persons in this illegal trade and efforts are on to nab them, she added.

It is pertinent to mention here that earlier 16 persons were arrested in connection with the online pangolin trade in Odisha.