Vikash Sharma

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has been urged to take strict action by invoking the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) 2002 against a few YouTubers for allegedly posting wildlife animal videos on social media.

A case was earlier registered against a YouTuber couple - Badri and Monalisha Bhadra in the Jajpur district for allegedly domesticating Langurs, a protected species, and sharing its videos on social media platforms.

Similarly, one Mirza Mohammad Arif was arrested in March for hunting Scheduled Wildlife animals which was a violation of Section 9, 39 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

Veteran IFS Officer, Susanta Nanda and Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) informed that in both cases it has been found that the YouTubers have millions of followers.

"It is suspected that they have gained a lot of money and hence we have written to Enforcement Directorate as it is the appropriate agency to conduct investigation into financial aspects," said Nanda.

As per Section 2 (y) Scheduled Offence means- the offences specified under part A of the Schedule and offences under the Wild Life Protection Act, 1972 listed in Paragraph 6 of the Schedule A of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.

In both cases, the accused persons are suspected to have got hefty money (proceeds of crime) as revenue from YouTube or other social media platforms, the official letter to ED read.

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