Bhubaneswar, March 15 (LocalWire): Police on Friday busted a leopard skin smuggling racket, with the arrest of seven gang-members from Kuchinda in Sambalpur district.
Four leopard skins were seized from the accused. The operation was carried out by the crime branch’s special task force (STF).
The accused have been identified as Sanjay Bagh, Sunil Kallu, Dusraj Patel, Minaketan Mundu, Kailash Majhi, Jhulaketan Naik and Kumad Bara, all hail from Sambalpur and adjoining area.
Meanwhile, the accused were being interrogated to ascertain whether the skins were procured from animals poached in the state or brought from outside.
“A preliminary investigation has revealed that the gang used to sell the skin at a very high price. We strongly suspect the gang having links with international traders,” said an official.
In December last year, the STF had busted another smuggling gang dealing with pangolins and had arrested several people. A probe revealed that it had links with an international gang.