Leopard skin smuggling: Skin samples to be sent for forensic test

Bhubaneswar/Sambalpur: The samples of the leopard skins seized by the Special Task Force (STF) of Odisha Crime Branch in Kuchinda town of Sambalpur district on March 15 will be sent for forensic test to Wildlife Institute of India (WII) in Dehradun.

According to sources, after the forensic test, the details regarding the poaching of the animals including their age can be ascertained. Whether the animals were shot or electrocuted will be established after the forensic test, added sources.

On the other hand, the STF has taken six persons out of seven arrested on remand for interrogation.

STF SP, Rahul PR said, “Details of the animal deaths will be known after the forensic test. Based on the forensic test and information elicited during interrogation, an analysis will be done.”

On the other hand, CCTV camera footage revealed that that the leopard skins were being traded for Rs 5 to Rs 10 lakh.

Meanwhile, STF officials and Forest department are jointly conducting investigation to ascertain the details behind the racket.

“It’s important to find out the weapons with which the poaching was done and unearth the entire network involved in the racket. The forest department should assist the crime branch in the investigation process,” said Honorary Wildlife Warden, Suvendhu Mallik.

Earlier, on March 15, the Special Task Force (STF) of Odisha Crime Branch busted a racket involved in leopard skin trading in Kuchinda town of Sambalpur district and had arrested seven persons in connection with the case. The STF had also seized four leopard skins from their possession.