Bengaluru Revenue Intelligence curbs international beating in wildlife smuggling – The New Indian Express

by Express News Service

BENGALURU: The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) in Bengaluru has arrested an international wildlife syndicate that was trading endangered wildlife species through mobile applications, in a massive operation dubbed ‘Kalki’.

Animals recovered, including extremely rare and threatened species such as the yellow-green anaconda, yellow-headed Amazon parrot, Nile monitor, red-footed turtle, iguana, ball pythons, alligator (ancient fish from North America), yaki monkey, veiled chameleon, raccoon dog, White-headed Pionus (rare parrots) and others delivered to Bannerghatta Biological Park, Bengaluru.

“Based on specific intelligence, on January 22 Military Intelligence officers intercepted three passengers, including a female passenger, who had arrived from Bangkok to Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru. Examination of their checked baggage resulted in the recovery of 18 non-native animals (four monkeys and 14 reptiles) with the help of Karnataka Forest Department officials,” DRI said in an official statement on Friday.

Ten of these are included in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) which is a global agreement between governments to regulate or prohibit international trade in threatened species. Importation of wild animals (including their parts and products) is prohibited. As defined by the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972, and those species included in CITES are subject to the provisions of CITES.

The agency added that the animals the passengers attempted to smuggle were seized under the provisions of the Customs Act 1962. According to DRI, a quick follow-up action with the help of KFD officials and an officer deputed from the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) Chennai, resulted in the recovery of another 139 animals belonging to 48 species. , including 34 CITES listed types of farm in Bengaluru used as a storage place for similarly smuggled wild animals.”

The Direct Penetration Institute said: “The defendants did not have any documents proving the lawful importation of wildlife material and there were no filings under the Department of Environment, Forestry and Climate Change (Department of Wildlife), and a voluntary disclosure scheme available with them.”

However, the agency uncovered “evidence of source financial transactions of non-native wildlife through the smuggling route, buying and selling transactions on WhatsApp and other social media platforms. The same was also determined regarding wildlife found and confiscated at the said locations.” The General Intelligence arrested four people involved in smuggling them to India.

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