In a major crackdown, the Special Task Force (STF) of the Crime Branch on Monday foiled a deal of sale of leopard skin near Kapasira village under Boudh district and seized two leopard skins from the possession of the accused person.
As per reports, acting on information from a reliable source, a joint team of Boudh Forest Officials and STF launched a sudden raid near Kapasira village under Manmunda forest range. The forest department sleuths seized two hides of leopard and other incriminating materials from Jibardhan Bhoi, a native of a village under Kantamal Police Limits.
When demanded, Bhoi failed to produce any valid authority of possession of the leopard hides and was detained by the sleuths. Later, he was handed over to the forest officials for necessary legal action.
Further investigation is on to trace the chain of smuggling syndicates.
Meanwhile, in another incident reported on Tuesday, Forest department officials busted a wildlife smuggling racket and rescued a pangolin in Nabarangpur district from the possession of 4 persons while they were hatching plans to smuggle the pangolin.
Basing on the earlier reports, the illegal trade of wildlife products is going rampant in the State. During the last one year, a special drive against the wildlife criminals/poachers has been launched in which the STF has seized as many as 18 leopard skin, 9 elephant tusks, 2 deer skin, 5 live pangolin scales and arrested 36 wildlife criminals.
STF is the specialised wing of Odisha Police to curb organised crime in the State. Wildlife crimes remain one of the focus areas of STF.