The Karnataka CID forest cell, along with the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) Chennai, on Tuesday, busted an illegal wildlife trade ring and arrested five persons - including an Andhra Pradesh Fire Force Department personnel in this connection.

 

According to Purushotham, Inspector, CID Forest Cell, there was an alert from WCCB Chennai about a possible deer skin and antlers trade on the Karnataka-Andhra Pradesh border. Based on the credible information, the officers intercepted calls and posed as customers interested in striking a deal.

 

Over the last ten days, the accused had been making the officers come to different locations. The officials, in plain clothes, were finally asked to come near Madanpalli Road in Srinivaspura Taluk. “A Bajaj Pulsar bike approached us. Surprisingly, the bike had an Andhra Pradesh police sticker. We thought it was the cops, but the rider got down and showed us a gunny bag which had two deer skins. 

 

He also has come along with two more accused. Our team immediately arrested them. During interrogation we came to know that, Chinni Babu, who earlier was with the police department and now with the fire force, was facilitating the trade,” said Purushotham. Along with Babu, Balu and Manjunath are the other arrested persons under the Wildlife Protection Act. The police seized two motor bikes and three mobile phones from the accused.

 

Based on further information, the officers also trapped Amir Jaan and  Zakir Hussein and recovered a deer skin and antlers. Both the cases are reported at Srinivaspur Police Station and the accused persons have been sent to judicial custody.

 

One of the involved officers remarked to Asianet Newsable that shockingly, the educated and also government officers were heavily involved in such trade. Earlier a forest guard from Kuppam forest division was arrested for stealing two elephant tusks from the forest office.

 

“Kolar in Karnataka, Kuppam in Andhra Pradesh and Krishnagiri in Tamil Nadu are forest borders and there is a lot of wildlife movement. The poachers and wildlife traders usually choose these places for trade as they can escape into another state after committing the crime,” said Balrame Gowda, Deputy Superintendent of Police senior officer from CID.