25 Feb, Pakyong : west Bengal Forest officials of Belakoba range have seized 9 feet long Leopard skin and arrested two Bhutanese residents from Nagarkata National Highway under Jalpaiguri district.
The consignment was being taken to Sikkim via Dooars region but apprehended by forest officials before they cross Bengal border.
Sanjay Dutt, Ranger, Belakoba forest range said that they prior have information about the smugglers entering Sikkim with leopard skin. They had planned and waited along national highway near Nagarkata and recovered leopard skin from Bhutan number Bolero pick-up van and arrested Sangay Dorji and Yadap Prasad Sharma.
Arrested duo is citizens of Bhutan and run business as one is an hotelier and other is an owner of readymade garments shop. Dutt informed that both confessed about selling the skin in Sikkim at the cost of Rs 7 lakhs.
According to Dutt the smugglers had killed a 15 years old leopard from the forest of Bhutan and were carrying the skin to sell it in Sikkim.
“Sangay owns a hotel Amangi while Yadap is a owner of Radha Gifts and Fancy Wear shop in Bhutan and were involved in smuggling skins and other parts of wild animals since long,” said Dutt.
When asked about the links in Sikkim and whom were they about to deliver the consignment, Dutta replied that according to smugglers they were working and contacting through whatsapp group. The details will be known after further investigation and interrogation.
Dutta said that they will also inform the Bhutan embassy regarding the matter. Both were produced in court today and sent for police remand. EOI