Crucial Breakthrough in Cracking Extensive Wildlife Smuggling Ring

The alleged kingpin of an extensive smuggling network that traded in plant and animal wildlife, Veeriya Shekhar of Manipur, was detained at the Chennai airport by immigration authorities and handed over to the Chhattisgarh police. It is believed that he was at the core of an illegal wildlife trading network that dealt in tiger and leopard bones, deer antlers, pangolin scales and red sandalwood. Information about Shekhar’s role emerged after interrogation of persons who had been arrested during a series of seizures over the past 18 months. As a result of the investigations, the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) issued a lookout circular that enabled the immigration authorities to detain Shekhar. Shekhar had been trying to flee to Bangkok. WCCB officials consider this a crucial breakthrough in cracking the smuggling ring.

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