Vikash Sharma

The Special Task Force (STF) of Odisha Crime Branch on Saturday managed to nab a person, suspected to be a poacher, following a raid at a place between Patung and Kalanda under Keonjhar sadar police limits. Two elephant tusks weighing over 5 kg have also been recovered from his possession.

The accused, identified as Ramakant Pradhan, was arrested by STF with assistance from the officials of Karanjia forest range.

Pradhan was arrested based on credible inputs that he was planning to strike a deal of the elephant tusks weighing 5 kg 662 gram. Several incriminating materials were also recovered from his possession, the STF said in a release.

“The accused person could not produce any authority in support of possession of such elephant Tusks, hence those were seized. The accused and the seized elephant Tusks were handed over to D.F.O., Karanjia for necessary legal action,” the STF said.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Crime Branch STF has launched a massive operation against the illegal wildlife trade in the State.

Around 25 leopard skin, 15 elephant tusks, 7 deer skin, 11 live pangolins, 19.5 kg of pangolin scales, 2 leopard teeth, 29 leopard claws, 46 live wild parrots have been seized/ rescued so far in the special drive which is continuing for the past two years.

As per the STF officials, a total of 59 wildlife criminals have been arrested from different parts of the State so far.