New Delhi: In two separate operations the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) have arrested four persons, including a woman, and rescued 157 protected animals and reptiles from their possession.
The DRI launched ‘Operation Kalki’ under which the arrests and recovery were made.
In the first operation, three persons, including a woman, who were allegedly trying to smuggle protected animals, were held by the DRI from Kempegowda International Airport, official said on Friday.
The accused arrived at the airport on January 22 from Bangkok.
“During the examination of their checked-in baggage, non-indigenous 18 animals (four primates and 14 reptiles) were recovered with the assistance of Karnataka Forest Department officials,” DRI said.
The import of wild animals as defined in the Wildlife (Protection) Act is prohibited and those species which are listed in CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) are subject to the provisions of CITES.
The animals attempted to be so smuggled by the said passengers were seized under the provisions of the Customs Act.
In the second operation the DRI with the assistance of Forest Department officials recovered 139 animals belonging to 48 different species, including 34 CITES listed species from a farmhouse in Bengaluru.
“Evidences of financial transactions to source non-indigenous wildlife through the route of smuggling, buy — sell transaction on the WhatsApp and other social media platforms have been unearthed by our team,” said the official.
The official added that the recovered animals, including extremely rare and threatened ones like the Yellow and Green Anaconda, Yellow headed Amazon Parrot, Nile Monitor, Red foot tortoise, Iguanas, Ball Pythons, Alligator Gar, Yaki Monkey, Veiled Chameleon, Racoon Dog, White headed piones were handed over to Bannerghatta Biological Park.
Four persons involved in the smuggling into India have also been placed under arrest so far.