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Thursday, February 21, 2013

3 smugglers held, 5 tiger skins recovered

TNN | Feb 21, 2013, 03.29 AM IST Akali leader arrested for killing police officialBHU a strong bond between Nepal, India: Nepal PresidentStable Nepal in our interest: KhurshidHundreds protest violence against women in NepalNepal government steps up vigil along border LUCKNOW: The network of wildlife poachers seems to have penetrated into the city and is trying to reach the international market via Nepal. The special operations group and district police caught a murder accused and two more smugglers in possession of five tiger hides from Chinhat area on Wednesday. The police also recovered a porcupine from the smugglers. The trio had got hold of the hides from a Maharashtra-based poacher and was in the middle of finding a prospective buyer, when the police intercepted them. The three smugglers have been identified as Vishal alias Sahil-the murder accused and Rajmal and Rajan, both residents of Barabanki. A resident of Dewa Road, Vishal had been accused of a murder that took place at Matiyari in 2007. "The trio was in possession of five tiger hides and porcupine (an endangered species), when they were held by the police. We are trying to find out who was interested in dealing with the trio and suspect that the hides were to be smuggled to international market via Nepal," said J Ravinder Goud, senior superintendent of police, Lucknow. According the police, the trio had bought the tiger hides from a man identified as Vijay. The trio had been in the business of wildlife smuggling and trafficking for past several years and had developed contacts across several states in the country. From preliminary investigations, it was found that the recovered hides have been smuggled from Maharashtra's Aurangabad district to the city. "The cost price of a single hide is Rs 50,000, while the selling price ranges between Rs 4 and 5 lakh," told Brijlal Verma, the sub-inspector of the team that nabbed the trio from a shanty located off Faizabad Road. The police have pressed various charges under Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 against the trio and have sent them to jail. "We had information of some groups, which were active in smuggling of endangered animals, skins, hides, bones, body parts etc in the city. Following continuous surveillance and help of informers, a notorious group had been held," said a police official.

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