A Special Task Force (STF) jawan from Bihar and 14 others have been arrested by UP Police in Bijnor for allegedly smuggling a rare pangolin.
The accused planned to sell it for Rs one crore in the black market.
For “security and safe passage” of the pangolin, the suspects “hired” the STF jawan for Rs 10 lakh.
Bijnor SP Dharamveer Singh said the pangolin was caught from the forest area of Najibabad division four days ago.
Eighteen individuals from UP, Haryana and Bihar were involved in the purchase at Banowali village under Nagina Dehat police limits when the police raided the hideout.
Three smugglers from Najibabad and one from Bihar are absconding.
The SP said, “A case has been registered against the 18 individuals under various sections of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. The poachers were planning to sell it for Rs 1 crore. Three cars, 11 high-end cell phones and three keypads used in wildlife smuggling were also seized on Monday.”
Listed as endangered species under the Schedule-I of the Wildlife Act, the pangolin is poached for its meat and used as traditional medicine. It is nocturnal and feeds on ants and termites.