By Leya Musa
The arrest of a poacher last week in Nagaland, India reveals that forest guards are being bought for just over £1000 in order to allow poachers to kill rhinos in the national park.
Information from the accused poacher, Bhagirath Jamal, revealed that forest guards were being bought of 1 lakh rupees (approx. £1,075) for help in getting the rhino horn out of the park and to the wildlife markets at Dimapur. The time from killing the rhino to it being available for sale at the notorious markets can be as little as 24 hours.
Jamal revealed to investigators that he was part of a 5 man poaching gang that sold a rhino horn at Dimapur for 10 lakh rupees (approx. £10,750) with a forest guard receiving 1 lakh.
Park officials have said that the name of the forest guard given by Jamal does not exist in their records but they have launched an immediate investigation to discover if any forest guards are working with poaching gangs.
So far this year 9 Indian rhinos have been killed by poachers.