DRI seizes tiger teeth, elephant tusks in Kolkata

Kolkata, July 30 (IANS) A syndicate involved in smuggling of elephant tusks and tiger teeth has been busted by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and 12 kg of tusks and fiveteeth of the big cat cumulatively valued at rs 1.147 crore seized, an official said on Tuesday.

Three people have been arrested in connection with the seizures made on Monday and Tuesday.

"An intelligence input was developed by DRI Kolkata that a city-based syndicate headed by Habibullah is operating in smuggling of elephant tusks and ivory articles, tiger teeth and other animal parts out of India to various countries like Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar.

"Acting on the intelligence, the agency sleuths intercepted Muslima Begum, second wife of Habibullah on Saturday at Sealdah railway station with two pieces of elephant tusks weighing 4.27 kg," the officer said.

The woman had brought the tusks from Assam, concealed inside her side bag, under instructions from her husband and was about to hand over the same to him in the station itself.

"Immediate interrogation of the husband-wife duo and quick follow-up actions resulted in recovery of one piece of ivory bangle and one piece of ivory from the flat of his son-in-law Adil Hussain in Park Circus area along with five pieces of tiger teeth and 29 pieces of assorted Ivory and some mechanical instruments along with Rs 1, 48,000 in cash," the DRI official said.

The export of animal body parts are prohibited under the provisions of the Foreign Trade Policy, the Customs Act, 1962 and the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

--IANS

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