Man arrested for smuggling endangered species with high medicinal value from Dooars in West Bengal
In a joint operation, border guarding force Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and forest officials have arrested a smuggler from West Bengal's Alipurduar district and rescued nine Tokay Gecko.
Tokay Gecko is an endangered nocturnal arboreal reptile species which is caught by poachers in north eastern states and smuggled to international buyers in south East Asian countries.
According to SSB, the international market price of Tokay Gecko is around Rs 6.75 crore as it has medicinal value. Sources say that this reptile is in high demand in countries like Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia.
The arrested person has been identified as Manoj Roy, who was carrying the reptiles for delivery to his contact.
"It has a great demand in the international market. It is caught and trafficked from north-eastern Indian states to Southeast Asian countries, where many people believe that medicines made from gecko meat can cure many diseases," said SSB in a statement.
SSB is deployed in various forest reserves and wildlife sanctuaries along Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan Border. A total of 120 Border out Posts of SSB are located in these forest areas and therefore it helps in protecting the precious wild life from hunters, smugglers and poachers.
SSB said that it has seized wildlife products worth Rs 141 crore this year and apprehended 74 persons.
Neeraj Chauhan | TNN | TOI