Sundargarh: Forest department busted an inter-state pangolin smuggling racket here Saturday morning with arrest of two persons.
The officials of Lephripara range under Sundargarh Forest division rescued a giant pangolin and a vehicle through which the rare species was being smuggled.
According to reports, the forest officials nabbed two persons at Deuli in Sundargarh district while they were smuggling the pangolin in an SUV to the neighbouring Chhattisgarh.
It may be mentioned here that a special unit of the Odisha Police had launched a drive to bust an international syndicate that peddles “endangered” pangolin, one of the world’s most illegally traded mammals.
“We have already moved the government, and a process has been initiated to crack the international pangolin smuggling racket, possibly with the help of the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT),” Odisha Director General of Police (DGP) Rajendra Prasad Sharma had said.
MLAT is an agreement between nations to exchange information or provide legal assistance for enforcing laws.
“As the members of the network also operate from neighbouring countries such as Myanmar, we are making an effort to get hold of them by exploring the MLAT provisions. The matter is being forwarded to the Ministry of Home Affairs, which could then approach the Myanmar government for necessary assistance,” the DGP had asserted.
The move to bust the global racket has gained pace after six persons, who were involved in smuggling pangolin scales from Odisha, West Bengal and Mizoram to Myanmar and China, were arrested earlier this year.