Pangolin shell export racket busted

Berhampur: With the arrest of four persons, police today unearthed an inter-state pangolin shell export racket at Buguda in Odisha’s Ganjam district.

Over 10-kg of pangolin-shells were seized from their possession, police said.

The accused persons, arrested yesterday, have been identified as Jadasura Nayak of Namaguda in Gajapati district, Muralidhara Himirika of Therubali in Rayagada district, Yudhistira Patra of Manjusha and S.Naresh of Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh, police said.

“We nabbed the four when they were moving at the outskirts of the town. The pangolin shells were found from their bags during search. The shells were packed in separate pockets,” said inspector-in charge of Buguda police station Ranjan Kumar Dey.

The accused persons were suspected to be members of a racket to export the pangolin shells, he said, adding, “We are investigating to ascertain the place from where they procure such quantities of shells.”

Pangolin shells are in high demand in foreign countries, particularly China, Vietnam and Cambodia where it is believed to be a cure for medical conditions related to blood circulation, cancer and lactation problems.

International value of per kg of pangolin shells worth around Rs 60,000, the wildlife activists said.

Due to its high value, there appearss to be a racket involving smuggling of pangolin, said Sameer Pradhan, a wildlife activist.