Three held for smuggling live mud crabs

Kendrapara: In a crackdown, forest personnel took into custody three persons on charges of smuggling out live mud crabs from Bhitarkanika National park waterbodies in Odisha’s Kendrapara district.

Acting on a tip-off, wildlife protection squad of the department made a seizure of two quintals of live crabs packed in sacks from a Kolkata bound bus at Nalitapatia village near the national park boundary, forest officials said today.

The arrested persons – Babuli Mallick the driver, Sanjaya Kumar Das the helper of the bus and the crab supplier Ajambila Das – were booked under the provisions of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and remanded to judicial custody after being arrested yesterday, they said.

The mud crabs recovered from the arrested offenders were later released into the water bodies of Bhitarkanika, said DFO, Bhitarkanika Mangrove (wildlife) Division, Kedar Kumar Swain.

“We had received definite information about illegal trading and catching of mud crabs. The catch was making its way to Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Kolkata and other areas,” he said.