By Lawi Weng
Police in Pegu Division’s Daik-U Township said they have arrested a man suspected of involvement in the poaching of several wild elephants in the forests of Pegu mountain range in the past year.
Tin Oo, a police sergeant in Daik-U Township, said a suspect named Kar Zin was arrested last week on accusations of being responsible for the killing of elephants in the forests near Baw Ni village. He added that two local villagers had been brought into to testify as witnesses in the case.
“Some people who are eyewitnesses informed us that he [Kar Zin\ was involved in hunting elephant; this is why we detained him,” Tin Oo told The Irrawaddy on Monday.
“We charged him with a criminal charge … of illegal killing of wild animals in the forest. We arrested him in Thaton Township in Mon State. We are still interrogating him about who else is involved in killing elephants,” he said. The suspect Kar Zin is reportedly from Thaton Township and married to a woman from Baw Ni village.
The Irrawaddy first reported on a spate of elephant killings in Pegu mountain range in Daik-U Township on Oct. 21. Reporters found one elephant carcass and local villager Myint Wai, who is fighting to stop the killings, shared photos that showed that about 20 other elephants were killed in the area in the past year or so.
Policeman Tin Oo said authorities were looking for another two suspects involved in elephant poaching. He added that police had opened an investigation after the head of the Daik-U Township Forest Department filed a complained at the local court.
“As we know, Kar Zin and other two persons are involved in killing elephants. But, we do not know the two other persons’ names yet, as we are still interrogating him,” he said. Tin Oo said it was too early to comment on police findings about the illegal wildlife trade in elephant tusks and skin, which fetch high prices on the Asian black market. More....