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Suryakant Jena

Athagarh: A team of Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) today began investigation into smuggling of pangolins in the State and to ascertain if the racket has any international links.

As many as 10 persons arrested on charges of smuggling pangolins in Athagarh area in the last few days were questioned during a marathon interrogation by a two-member team of the WCCB at Khuntuni Forest Range Office.

The wildlife division of the State had sought 6-day remand of the accused, but the Athagarh SDJM granted approval for only one day.

It may be noted that after a preliminary probe, wildlife officials are suspecting the involvement of the accused in international pangolin smuggling rackets. So in order to elicit more details on the modus operandi and the illegal trade of the endangered animal, the wildlife department had sought help of the WCCB.

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