7 exotic animals rescued in Assam; 5 Mizoram residents arrested
Police said during the initial investigation, it was found that the consignment was coming from Indonesia through Myanmar via Mizoram, and the smugglers were taking them to Meghalaya
The Assam police on Sunday rescued seven exotic animals and arrested five alleged Mizoram-based smugglers in connection.
“During the Naka checking at Assam-Mizoram border in Lailapur Gate, we stopped the vehicle and found the cages,” an official aware of the matter said.
The animals were rescued on Sunday morning and were handed over to the forest department, they were later shifted to Assam State Zoo in Guwahati, said the official.
Cachar district Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Vijay Palve told HT that all the rescued animals are “exotic and are natives of North America and Indonesia”.
He said that the animals, including one Panamanian White-faced Capuchin (Cebus imitator), four Black Macaque (Macaca nigra) and two Common Opossum (Didelphis marsupialis), were handed over to them by the police on Sunday morning.
“Since they are not familiar with the weather of our area, we shifted them to Assam State Zoo to keep them alive. They are receiving treatment there. We have registered a case against the smugglers,” Palve said.
Police said during the initial investigation, it was found that the consignment was coming from Indonesia through Myanmar via Mizoram, and the smugglers were taking them to Meghalaya.
Cachar superintendent of police (SP) Numal Mahatta on Monday told HT that an operation was launched after the police received information about the smuggling of wildlife creatures.
“During the operation, we managed to intercept the vehicle and arrested five Mizoram residents, including a woman,” he said.
The arrested persons have been identified as Hmingkopuia (41), F Lalchandama (29), Lalrintluanga (24), Vaincluding and Jenny Lalruatkimi (30). All of them are residents of areas near Aizawl and Champhai town, said the SP.
Mahatta said that the consignment came from Myanmar and was received by the smugglers in Champhai in Mizoram. “Their duty was to take the consignment from Champhai to Meghalaya. From there, the actual smugglers had other plans maybe,” he said.
The accused have been booked under the Wildlife Protection Act, and an investigation into the matter has been launched, said a police official, adding, “They will be produced before the court as soon as possible.”
In April this year, nine exotic wildlife species, including seven Spider Monkeys and two black and white ruffled lemurs were rescued from a vehicle near the Assam-Mizoram border.