Berhampur: The Special Taskforce (STF) of the Crime Branch today disbanded a racket of pangolin smugglers and arrested a pangolin smuggler from Berhampur.
The accused identified as Jamshed used to traffic pangolins from Odisha to Bangladesh via Madhya Pradesh and Assam. The STF is investigating the case thoroughly to find out links of others in the crime, if any.
Earlier on December 23, Rayagada police busted a racket of pangolin smugglers and arrested five persons, including two women. They also seized a car being used by the five and found a live pangolin inside it.
On December 13, the forest department had also arrested seven people for smuggling a pangolin weighing 12 kg.
Pangolin, listed as an endangered species, was mostly found in the hilly forests of Koraput, Rayagada, Malkangiri, Kandhamal and Mayurbhanj districts.
Since there is a huge demand for pangolin scales in the international market as people believe ornaments made of them have healing properties, the mammal has become one of the most trafficked mammals in the world.