Mrunal Manmay Dash

The Forest Department officials arrested three persons from a hotel in Deogarh for smuggling ivory. Two tusks have been seized from them.

As per reports, the forest officials received a tip-off about ivory smuggling in Deogarh Forest Division area. They raided a hotel and arrested the three smugglers.

One of the accused is said to be a local jeweller.

Speaking about the arrests, Deogarh DFO Magar Dhanaji Raoso said, “We have caught three persons and they are being interrogated. They are giving misleading statements. We hope to extract concrete information from them by this afternoon. Two ivories have been recovered from them. The search is still going on in the area.”

“Prima facie, it looks like these are middlemen. However, they are not revealing the names of the source of the ivory. We are currently interrogating them. There is probably a racket involved in this. We will catch the poachers and the buyers soon,” he said.

Earlier, two ivory smugglers were arrested by Odisha police in July last year during a drive against poachers in Similipal National Park in Mayurbhanj.

It is pertinent to mention here that ivory smuggling is the primary cause behind elephant poaching in Odisha. Poachers kill the jumbos sometimes with bullets and sometimes with electrocution to cut off their tusks and sell them to buyers mostly out of the country at a high cost.