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Rojalin Mishra

Rayagada: Intensifying its crackdown on illegal wildlife trafficking, a joint team of police and forest department officials arrested five persons and rescued a Pangolin from their possession near Gunupur bus stand in the district today.

The breakthrough came after the police team intercepted a car after getting information regarding the movement of the gang.

"After preliminary investigation, it is ascertained that they were transporting the animal to Bhubaneswar from Gunupur via Padmapur. After a detailed investigation, we will be able to establish whether the gang was operating independently or has links with any national or international racket" said Inspector-In-Charge of Gunupur police station, Ravindra Patra.

"Out of the five arrested accused, two are women and all of them have been produced before court" said Gunupur Ranger Ashok Pradhan.

Earlier, the forest department had busted a major wildlife racket on December 12 and rescued a Pangolin from MV-10 village in Malkangiri and arrested seven persons who were planning to sell the animal for over Rs 1 lakh.


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