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20 Jul 2018

DRI seizes ivory worth Rs 1 cr in Siliguri, two arrested

Amitava Banerjee | MP |  20 July 2018 | Darjeeling: The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Ministry of Finance, government of India, recovered 9.908 kg of ivory in Siliguri worth around Rs 1 crore. Two persons have been arrested in this connection.

A Press note from the department stated that acting on a tip-off, sleuths of the DRI intercepted two persons near the Tenzing Norgay Bus Terminus in SIliguri, at around 7:30 pm on Wednesday. 

The two persons arrested, namely Padam Bahadur Baidya of Assam and Kishor Kumar Rai of Salugarah, Jalpaiguri, were waiting for buyers from Kolkata when they were nabbed.
Later, during interrogation, the duo revealed that the ivory had been smuggled in from Nepal through the Panitanki border. The duo have been booked under Section 104 of the Customs Act, 1962. 

Investigations are on to nab the masterminds behind the animal parts trade. 

Incidentally, the Siliguri area, with its close proximity to four international borders with Nepal, China, Bhutan and Bangladesh and being the gateway to North East India, is fast emerging as an international smuggling corridor.

In recent months, DRI had seized 12.410 kg of Ivory at Siliguri on February 15 and 5.838 kg of ivory from the Guwahati, Assam on May 26. 

In the past, DRI had recovered exotic birds and endangered animals smuggled into India from neighbouring countries, along with animal parts like tiger and leopard skins.

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