Forest officials have nabbed one person from the city, identified as Chakka Ravi, who is allegedly one of the key dealers of ivory taken from elephants hunted down by poachers in the Malayattoor Forest Division recently.
Ravi, who was handed over to the Malayattoor wing of the department on Tuesday, was taken into custody late on Monday after raids at several places across the city.
The raids, part of the ongoing combing operations in various forest divisions in the State, also saw the residence of one Preston, at Pettah, being inspected by forest officials.
It is believed that Preston and his brother Williams, who are absconding, were involved in ivory trade that was catered to by poachers operating in various forests here, primarily the Malayattoor division, officials said.
It is also believed that Aikaramattom Vasu, accused of killing elephants, the carcasses of which were found during the recent combing operations, had handed over the tusks to Preston, who in turn sold them to a person identified as Bright Aji. Officials said Aji was suspected to have in turn sold the ivory to a dealer called ‘Kolkata Thankachi’, who usually takes the contraband to Kolkata to turn it into finished products, including idols.
With all the accused, including Preston, Williams and Aji on the run, the Forest Department has sent out alert messages to various agencies to keep an eye open for these men.
T. Uma, Divisional Forest Officer, Thiruvananthapuram, said the operation was still on, with more raids planned to recover the ivory.