Elephant tusk recovered

SILIGURI
2 Jan 2019

Officers of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence recovered 16.962 kgs of tusks  today afternoon from Ghoshpukur in the outskirts of Siliguri. The ivory was found in a Tata container truck bearing Registration number WB-23E-5533 bound for Kolkata from Guwahati, Assam.
The elephant tusks in four cut pieces were being secretly transported in the under a consignment of black tea. On interrogation, the driver of the impugned vehicle confessed that the elephant tusks were handed over to him at Baihata Chariali by one person from Guwahati for transporting it to Kolkata.
Preliminary investigations have revealed that the tusks were extracted from poached elephants in the forested areas of Assam and were being carried to Kolkata for export to South East Asian countries via Bangladesh.
Indian (Asian) Elephant (Elephas maximus) is listed in Appendix I of the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) and also listed under Sl no: 12B of Part I of Schedule I of the Wild Life Protection Act, 1972. As per the ITC (HS) Classifications for Imports under Schedule I of the Import Policy of the Government of India, the import of wild animals (including their parts and products) as defined in the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 is prohibited.
Sections 48 and 49 of the Wild Life Protection Act, 1972 prohibit trade or commerce in Wild Animals or Animal Articles or Trophies.  Further, illegal export or import of wild life automatically becomes a violation of the Customs Act by virtue of Section 111(d) of the Customs Act.   Such offenses are punishable under Section 135 of the Customs Act as also under Section 51 of the WPA.
Consequently, the elephant tusks valued at about Rs.1.69 crore in the international market have been seized under the provisions of the Customs Act, 1962 read with the Wildlife Protection Act.
DRI has detected a series of cases involving trafficking of elephants tusks. In four such cases in the past, a total of 38.604 kgs of Elephant Tusks have been seized by DRI this year. Eight persons have been arrested in these cases. (EOIC)