Guwahati, May 26 : A joint operation conducted by the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB), Guwahati, and Assam forest department led to the recovery of pangolin scales from a hotel at Boko in Kamrup district on Thursday.
Two persons, including a woman from Meghalaya, have been detained in connection with seizure of the wildlife parts.
Official sources said that based on intelligence inputs developed by WCCB here, the teams conducted a search at Sydney Hotel in Boko market and seized pangolin scales weighing 2.8 kg from the possession of Hitesh Khaklary, a resident of Boko, and Bijulina Khar Lyngdung, a resident of West Khasi Hills district.
The search operation was led by Jawaharlal Baro, assistant director, WCCB, along with the divisional forest officer of West Kamrup Division.
The Chinese pangolin is enlisted in Schedule-I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and declared “Vulnerable to Critically Endangered” species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
WCCB, Guwahati has over the past few months intensified operations against alleged wildlife smugglers across the Northeast.
“Any offence related to pangolins may lead to imprisonment ranging from seven to 10 years in Assam. Smuggling of pangolin scales is continuously increasing in Assam as well as across the country. With this recovery, WCCB Guwahati has conducted five operations against pangolin scale smuggling so far this year,” an official source said.
Besides, smuggled pangolins have time and again been rescued by WCCB.
In April, teams from WCCB, Guwahati and the Chariduar forest range of Sonitpur West Division conducted a joint operation at Potasali on the Balipara-Bhalukpong Road in Sonitpur district of central Assam and rescued two Chinese pangolins weighing 9.5 kg and 2.9 kg.