Keonjhar: A team of the Special Task Force (STF) officials of Odisha Crime Branch Saturday seized two tusks following a raid at a place between Patung and Kalanda under Keonjhar Sadar police limits.
The STF has also arrested an illegal trader in this connection.
A source said that the two tusks weighed more than 5 kilogram and were recovered from the possession of the arrested man. The accused has been identified as Ramakant Pradhan. He was arrested by STF with assistance from the officials of Karanjia forest range.
“STF got information from a reliable source that accused Pradhan was negotiating with different parties to sell two tusks weighing around 5.662 kilogram. Swinging into action, the team conducted a raid leading to the seizure and arrest,” a senior official stated.
Several incriminating instruments were also recovered from the possession of illegal trader Pradhan, the STF official added.
“As the accused person could not produce any valid document in support of possessing the two tusks, those were seized. The accused trader and the seized tusks were handed over to Karanjia DFO for necessary legal action,” a press release of the STF mentioned.
It is pertinent to mention, the STF has launched a massive operation against illegal trade of wildlife body parts in the state.
As many as 25 leopard skins, 15 tusks, seven deer hides, 11 live pangolins, 19.5 kilogram of pangolin scales, two leopard teeth, 29 leopard claws, 46 live wild parrots have been seized and/or rescued so far in the special drive which is continuing for past two years.
A total of 59 wildlife criminals have been arrested, so far.