Full-grown tiger skeletal seized in Guwahati


Shilliong : A full-grown tiger skeletal and pangolin scales worth Rs.2 crore meant to be smuggled to China was seized from Assam’s international airport, a senior official said here Friday.

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The products were intercepted Wednesday and Thursday in two separate consignments sent from Dimapur in Nagaland to Guwahati through government-owned postal service.

“The consignments — 320 kg of Pangolin scales and a tiger skeleton — were booked in Dimapur and sent through the Railway Mail Service to Guwahati. It was meant to be sent to Imphal (in Manipur) by an Air India flight,” North East Customs Commissioner S.R. Baruah told IANS.

He said the consignments were all neatly packed in cartons and wrapped in multiple layers of Hessian clothes.

Baruah said the packets, according to intelligence inputs, were meant to be smuggled to Myanmar from Manipur and finally into China.

“Tiger bones are largely smuggled to China for use in traditional medicines, fashion and high-end products,” Belinda Wright of the Wildlife Protection Society of India told IANS over telephone from New Delhi.

She said most of the wildlife animals were smuggled out to China through Jaigaon in West Bengal via eastern Nepal.

“There is a ‘good density of tigers’ in Kaziranga Park (Assam) and Pakke Tiger Reserve in Arunachal Pradesh but no proper survey of tiger population in the northeast has been conducted,” Wright said.

A kilo of Pangolin scale is worth about Rs.60,000 while a gram of crushed Tiger bone costs almost Rs.1,000 in the international market.

The modus operandi used by the smugglers has made the customs authorities to work out its strategy afresh.