Pangolin smugglers' gang busted with arrest of 10 persons in Telangana, live scaly-skinned mammal rescued

South India
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The accused were arrested under the Wildlife Protection Act and produced them before a court in Sirpur

The Telangana forest officials busted a gang that involved in poaching and smuggling pangolins with the arrest of ten persons and seized a live scaly-skinned mammal from the accused.

The accused were nabbed by forest officials of the Kawal Tiger Reserve from the Mancherial and Asifabad districts. The officials rescued a live pangolin and seized a car and mobile phones from them.

The accused were arrested after the officials kept a close watch on their activities for over a month, reported The New Indian Express quoting Kawal Tiger Reserve Field Director CP Vinod Kumar.

Pangolin is a protected animal and also an endangered species listed under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Protection Act. Hunting and trading of the animal is a serious offence and punishable with a minimum of seven years rigorous imprisonment and a fine of not less than Rs 5 lakh.

The accused were arrested under the Wildlife Protection Act and produced them before a court in Sirpur.

The investigation against the gang commenced after forest officials watched a video on YouTube offering live pangolins for sale, promising magical healing powers and health benefits.

The forest department officials started observing the concerned persons and then tracked them until they could lay their hands on everyone involved in the racket.

Pretending to be buyers, the forest officials contacted the gang leader with the help of a number that they got from the comments section of below the video. The deal was fixed at Rs 10 lakh for the animal.

Image credit: The Week

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