Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: The Special Task Force (STF) of the Crime Branch successfully rescued a live pangolin following a raid at Abhimanpur in Cuttack district on Friday. A senior STF official informed that a person, identified as Keshab Sahoo has been arrested in connection with the incident.

Prashant Bhoi, SP (STF) said that the weight of the live pangolin is around 14 kg and the accused was planning to sell the mammal.

A case under section 379, 411, 120(B) IPC and 51 of Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 has been registered against the accused. The rescued animal will be handed over to DFO cum Wildlife Warden, Athagarh for safe custody.

“We obtained credible information regarding a deal for the sale of live pangolin. Later, we conducted a raid at the village and rescued the Pangolin which was kept inside a bag,” said Bhoi.

The SP further said that there is a huge market in several countries including China and Singapore for Pangolin for its meat, scales, blood, tail and claws which are used for several purposes including for traditional medicines.

“The cost of Pangolin varies in international market. However, the cost of the animal varies from 2 to 3 lakhs per kilogram of its weight. The accused has confessed to have procured the Pangolin from another person, it is being verified and further investigation is underway,” Bhoi added.

It is pertinent to mention here that Pangolin is a scheduled- I protected animal under Wildlife Protection act, 1972.

During last one year, STF has seized as many as 12 Leopard skin, 6 Elephant Tusks, 2 deer skin, 3 live pangolin and 5 kg of pangolin scales and arrested 25 wildlife criminals in a special drive during the past one year. A total of 14 cases have been registered against the wildlife criminals.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)