In a major crackdown against wildlife smuggling, sleuths from Khariar Forest Division seized as many as 42 nails of leopards and two tusks in back to back raids at different places in Kalahandi and Nuapada districts on Friday.
As many as four persons have been arrested for smuggling the wildlife products.
Acting on an intelligence input, the Forest division officials headed by Khariar District Forest Officer (DFO) Vivek Kumar conducted the raid in Sinapali and arrested two persons. As many as 42 leopard nails were recovered from them.
Following the arrest of the two criminals and their interrogation, the accused pointed out another link.
Based on the information, the second raid was conducted at M Rampur where two tusks were seized. A father and son duo named Nuakhau Bhag and Chitrasen Bag were arrested for possessing and smuggling the wildlife product.
"We caught the smugglers red handed while they were making a deal to sell the wildlife products in the market," said Khariar DFO Vivek Kumar.
"We are expecting more information from the smugglers to trace the trading links. Due to the proximity of the places to Chhattisgarh, it is expected that the wildlife trade has a link with the neighbouring state. We are trying to trace the root of the trade," said Kumar.
(Edited by Rashmi Ranjan Mohanty)