Bhubaneswar, Oct 31: The Special Task Force (STF) of Odisha Crime Branch Tuesday arrested a man and recovered one live pangolin during a raid in Nuapada district.
The accused was identified as Ranjan Kumar Sahu of Kantamal village under Kegaon police limits in Kalahandi district.
“Following a tip off, a team of STF with the help of forest officials of Khariar Forest Division Tuesday morning conducted a raid at Bankapur Chhaka under Khariar police station of Nuapada District and apprehended the accused who along with two other associates was waiting for a customer to handover the live pangolin. But, Ranjan’s associates managed to give the police a slip,” said Kishore Kumar Panigrahi, Superintendent of Police, STF.
The police during the search recovered one live pangolin and other incriminating material from the possession of the accused. Police have also seized the SUV reportedly used by Ranjan and his associates.
“The accused person could not produce any authority in support of possession of such the pangolin, for which he has been apprehended. Ranjan has divulged the identity of absconding accused persons and we will soon nab them too," Panigrahi added.
A case (25/23) under sections 379, 411, 120(B) IPC and Section 51 of Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 has been registered by the STF on Tuesday. The STF officials also informed that accused Ranjan will be produced before the Court of SDJM, Khariar.
The STF team has handed over the live pangolin to the Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) of Khariar for safe custody.
As many as eight live pangolins have been rescued from the clutches of wildlife criminals by the STF so far this year.