Bhubaneswar: As part of the crackdown on illegal wildlife smuggling, forest officials rescued a pangolin near Madhusudan Setu connecting Cuttack and Athagarh on Thursday. The Khuntuni forest officials also arrested two persons in this connection and later produced them before court.
The arrested are Chandramani Jena (41) of Rajkanika area in Kendrapara and Majon Dalei of Sikharpur in Cuttack.
The pangolin aged one-and-a-half years weighing around 4 kg was valued at Rs 5 lakh. Acting on a tip-off, the forest officials conducted a raid near the bridge and detained Chandramani, who was smuggling the pangolin kept in a gunny bag from Rajkanika to Sikharpur on a scooter,
During interrogation, the accused confessed to his crime. Later, he was asked to call the person whom he was supposed to sell the pangolin. When he reached, the Khuntuni forest officials also detained him. During interrogation, the revealed that over 12 pangolins are in possession of traffickers in Redhakhol, Koraput, Balugaon, Kalahandi and Deogarh.
Both of them were later produced before court. The forest officials will approach the court for remand of the two accused for further questioning in this connection.