Bhubaneswar: The state government has requested the Crime Branch (CB) to investigate smuggling of pangolins from Odisha in an attempt to root out the menace.
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) and Chief Wildlife Warden (CWW) Hari Shankar Upadhyay has urged the CB to investigate the pangolin smuggling racket.
In a letter to the CB additional Director General, Upadhyay requested the investigating agency to bust the racket behind smuggling of the scaled reptile.
The letter stated that the Forest department had first got information about the pangolin smuggling racket November 30, 2019 when the Athagarh forest division arrested seven smugglers and seized pangolin scales from them.
Subsequently, eight more accused were arrested when they delved deep into the affairs of the racket. Recently, another person was apprehended with a dead pangolin and three persons were arrested in this connection. The investigation indicated involvement of other persons from Cuttack’s Buxi Bazar area and Bhadrak too, the PCCF mentioned in his letter.
As the roots of this smuggling racket stretched to other parts of the state and also foreign countries, the Forest department requested CB to probe the matter.