Kolkata: About 12 kg of elephant tusk and five pieces of tiger tooth, valued at Rs 1.14 crore, have been recovered here, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) officials said. Three poachers were arrested in this connection, the agency said in a statement on Tuesday. “Acting on a tip-off, the DRI sleuths arrested Muslima Begum and her husband Habibullah, suspected kingpin of the racket, at Sealdah Railway Station on Sunday and recovered two elephant tusks weighing 4.27 kg from Begum,” it said.
DRI said that she had brought the items from Assam and was poised to deliver the consignment to her husband, before which both the poachers were arrested. “Habibullah was wanted in several cases booked by the agency’s Kolkata, Siliguri and Guwahati units, where he had attempted to smuggle around 48.79 kg elephant tusks and ivory statues with a total worth of Rs 6.01 crore,” a DRI official said.
The man was involved in smuggling of elephant tusks, ivory items, tiger teeth and other animal body parts to neighbouring countries of Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar, DRI official said. Interrogation of the poachers led to the arrest of their son-in-law Adil Hussain from a flat in Park Circus area on Monday.
A total of 31 pieces of ivory items and five pieces of tiger tooth were recovered from the flat of the poachers, the agency said. DRI said they also found tools and Rs 1.48 lakh in cash from Habibullah’s residence at Karaya Road. While elephant tusks fetch lucrative prices in Nepal and Bangladesh, tiger teeth are in demand in China and Myanmar, the DRI said. Animal body parts are prohibited from export under the provisions of Foreign Trade Policy, Customs Act, 1962 read with Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, it added.