Seizure shows poachers’ Delhi, Maharashtra link
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In the biggest pan-India seizure since poacher Sansar Chand's capture in 2005, the CBI and the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) on Thursday seized tiger skin, tiger bone, leopard and otter skins from Delhi and Nagpur.
While five persons were arrested in Nagpur with as much as 30 kilos of tiger bone and two tiger skins, two Tibetan nationals of the same gang were held at Majnu Ka Tila in New Delhi with two leopard skins, a log of protected red sanders wood and an otter skin. Six more otter skins were recovered from another location in Majnu Ka Tila, a Tibetan refugee colony in Delhi.
The linkages suggest the tigers and leopards may have been poached around Maharashtra — the state has two tiger reserves Tadoba and Melghat — and then carried to Delhi to be smuggled to Nepal or Tibet. The red sanders wood, popular in East Asia for creating sculptures, is found only in Andhra Pradesh. While controlled sales of the wood is permitted, it is illegal to smuggle or carry the wood outside Andhra without a permit.
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