DRI recovers 24 pieces of ivory in Guwahati

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Kolkata, May 27 (IANS) The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence has recovered 24 pieces of ivory weighing 5.8 kgs near Guwahati Railway station in Assam, the agency said in a release on Sunday.

Acting on specific intelligence, the DRI sleuths intercepted two persons from near the railway station and seized the ivory from their possession on Saturday.

The interception took place as the recipient of the ivory, Suraj Kumar Das, hailing from West Bengal, was in the process of receiving the package from Badrul Hussain, resident of Assam’s Hojai district.

Das is a contractual employee of Railways working as a coach attendant of Saraighat Express, said the relese.

Interrogation of the two have revealed that Hussain had picked up the package containing ivory from a person at Hojai and was supposed to deliver it to Das who would have in turn handed it over to another person at New Jalpaiguri for being smuggled ito Nepal through the border townships in north Bengal.

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“It has been confirmed by Wildlife officials that these tusks have been extracted after killing at least five adult and sub-adult elephants, and since the ivory has been sourced from Hojai it is believed that the elephants were in all likelihood killed in the Karbi Anglong region of Assam,” it said.

Endangered species are regularly being slaughtered for their parts especially because of the rising demand in the international market.

In a recent case DRI had seized 12.41 kg of ivory from a bus in northern West Bengal’s Siliguri. In that case too, the ivory was sourced from Lakhimpur district of Assam. Further investigation to unearth the masterminds behind the gang of poachers and smugglers of animal parts is in progress.

–IANS

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