With the arrest of five men, the Crime Branch of Delhi Police has busted a racket that indulged in smuggling and selling skin of Royal Bengal Tigers, an official said on Wednesday.
The accused have been identified as Amir Khan, Deepak Kumar, Mohit, Shivam Sisodia, and Rahul Rawat, all residents of NCR.The police have also recovered two tiger skins from the possession of the accused.
According to the police, an information was received that a racket indulging in smuggling of tiger skins was active in Delhi and its surrounding areas. "Specific input was received that the members of the racket would come to the Chhatarpur Metro station to strike a deal with some prospective buyers.
The gang was active in Delhi-NCR, and was illegally selling tiger skins for Rs 20 lakh each," said Ravindra Singh Yadav, Special Commissioner of Police (Crime). Accordingly, a trap was laid in the Vasant Kunj area from where Amir Khan was apprehended and one tiger's skin was recovered from his possession.
"The wild life team was called to the spot and after the inspection of the recovered skin, it was confirmed to be a genuine tiger's skin," Yadav said. On interrogation, Amir disclosed that his two other associates -- Rahul and Mohit -- were also with him but they managed to flee.
"All the three accused had come to meet Deepak who was to provide some prospective buyer. A case under the relevant sections of the Wild Life Protection Act and Indian Penal Code was registered at the Crime Branch police station and investigation was taken up," the officer said.
Amir also disclosed that the seized tiger skin was provided to him by Rahul and Deepak. "Deepak was apprehended from Kullu, Himachal Pradesh, while Mohit was arrested from Delhi," said the officer.
Mohit told the investigators that the recovered tiger's skin was provided to him by Shivam and some more skins could also be recovered from the latter. "The police conducted a raid and apprehended Shivam.
At the instance of accused Mohit and Shivam, one more tiger's skin was recovered from a jungle area near Qutub Vihar, Delhi. and Rahul was also arrested," Yadav said. "Shivam was the main source for tiger's skins.
He had four in his possession. He had approached Mohit and asked him to look for some buyers, and gave him one skin as a sample. Mohit then contacted Rahul, who got in touch with Amir and asked him to look for some buyer.
Amir further contacted Deepak, who was tasked with arranging customers for the illegal deal," the officer said.