Four held with elephant tusk in Bengal

Kolkata: Four people, including an award-winning craftsman, were arrested and elephant tusk valued at nearly Rs.2 lakh was seized from them in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district, a forest official said on Tuesday.

The arrests and the seizure were made on Monday night near Jalpaiguri More during a joint operation by the forest department and the police.

“The four arrested smugglers include Sushil Rai who was earlier awarded by the West Bengal government for his craftsmanship. In the garb of his craftsmanship, he was into smuggling of ivory,” Baikunthapur forest division ranger Sanjay Dutta said.

Dutta said the four accused are part of a gang involved in smuggling tusks and rhino horns.

“In last night’s raid, we seized 938 gm of elephant tusk valued at Rs.1.80 lakh,” he said.

“Investigations have revealed that at least 40 kg of elephant tusk and rhino horns meant to be smuggled out of the country have been stocked by them. We are trying to locate where the tusks have been hidden,” he added.