In a crackdown on animal poaching and the illegal ivory trade in Gujarat, four persons have been nabbed in Ahmedabad, on Sunday. An elephant tusk weighing 13.9 kg that they planned to sell for Rs 35 lakhs was recovered from possession.
The four were seized based on a tip-off. A dummy customer was sent to the accused to strike a deal and when the two parties, policemen swooped down and arrested the culprits, briefed a release from the Crime Branch.
The accused confessed to knowing the kin of slain sandalwood smuggler Veerappan owing to his stay in Tamil Nadu between 1999 and 2006. As such, he could emerge the lead point into the investigation of trade that thrives on killing wildlife and protected species, added officials.
It has also been learnt that the tusk was brought to Ahmedabad from Gir Somnath by two wanted criminals around a month ago. They continue to be at large. The quartet arrested were involved in attempts to sell it off.
They have been charged under the Wildlife (Protection) Act and under Sections 379 and 411 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), while the tusk was sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) for examination.
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