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3 Feb 2017

Three held with ivory and foreign pistol

TT, Siliguri, Feb. 2: Officers of the Belacoba range under Baikunthapur forest division seized ivory pieces and a foreign firearm with live cartridges last night and arrested three persons, all residents of Alipurduar.
"We had received information that three persons were trying to smuggle two pieces of elephant tusks weighing around 2kg to Nepal. They were also carrying a Japan-made pistol and three rounds of live cartridges. We intercepted them last night near Fulbari (on the outskirts of Siliguri). The trio, we suspect, are members of a smuggling racket," Sanjoy Dutta, the range officer of Belacoba, said.
Those arrested have been identified as Diban Oraon and Siblal Oraon of Birpara and Sanjoy Toppo of Ramjhora, all in Alipurduar district.
According to forest sources, the price of ivory in Nepal and China is higher than India.
"Ivory has a steady demand in both these countries. While probing different cases of animal parts smuggling, we have come to know that the smugglers earn more by selling ivory in Nepal, instead of selling it here in India," a source said.
"We are trying to find out whether they have connections with international rackets. The smugglers often use the Nepal route to smuggle contraband items to China and southeast Asian countries from India. These people, we believe, had similar plans. Also, we need to find out how they managed to get hold of a sophisticated firearm," an official said.
All the three were produced in the chief judicial magistrate's court in Jalpaiguri and remanded in judicial custody for 14 days.

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