Manipur man arrested from Bengal, rhino horn seized

by IANS |

Kolkata, June 24 (IANS) A man from Manipur was arrested from the Naxalbari area in West Bengal's Darjeeling district and a rhinoceros horn weighing 1.25 kilograms was recovered from his possession.

The arrested person has been identified as Ajit Kumar Singh.

The accused was arrested in a joint operation by the officials of the state Forest Department and the personnel of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB).

The seized item has been sent to the Zoological Survey of India office for examination purposes, said Debesh Pande, the Division Forest Officer of the Kurseong division.

The accused was handed over to the cops of Naxalbari Police station on Monday.

State Forest Department sources said that the rhinoceros horn recovered from the accused was in all probability smuggled from the forest in neighbouring Assam.

During interrogation, the accused confessed that he had plans to smuggle the rhinoceros horn to China via Nepal.

Rhinoceros horns are in high demand in China for producing aphrodisiac medicines.

"Probably he is a part of a major racket of wildlife smuggling operating in this corridor. The accused has already named some of his associates. Further investigation and interrogation of the accused will reveal more," said the Forest Department official.

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