New Delhi: CBI on Saturday arrested two alleged poachers from Chhattisgarh during the combing operations and also recovered huge cache of animal parts including tiger teeth, elephant tusks, tortoise shells etc.
The agency has taken over the probe in wildlife poaching cases on the orders of the Bombay High Court which has handed over three cases to it asking it to unearth the larger conspiracy in poaching of tigers from the region.
The sources said as part of the probe, CBI today carried out combing operations in the dense forests of Rajnandgaon, Chhattisgarh in the wee hours today.
The agency nabbed two poachers from their hideout in the Ghandai village and also recovered huge cache of animal parts including tiger teeth, elephant tusks, tortoise shells etc.
"The seizure of elephants tusks from poachers based in Chhattisgarh shows they were functioning at a national level as elephants are not common in the forests of Chhattisgarh. We are carrying out further probe which may give their linkages to other groups in the country," an official said.
The sources said the agency is working towards unfolding the larger network of poachers, middlemen and final clients and also the routes through which trafficking of illegal wildlife takes place.
According to the estimates of Interpol, India being the home of rare wildlife like Tiger, Elephants, Rhinos, Leopard, Lion, is a major hub in the international illicit wildlife market which is estimated to be USD 12 billion a year.
With porous Indo-Nepal and other borders, poachers manage to smuggle illicit wildlife products to south east Asia and China where there is huge demand of these products in traditional Chinese medicine, the sources said.
Recently, CBI had arrested notorious tiger poacher Kiuttu from Katni in Madhya Pradesh for allegedly killing at least two tigers.
According to wildlife experts, a tiger can fetch about Rs 4 crore in international market.