Pangolin scales seized in Mizoram

Aizawl: An Aizawl resident was arrested and pangolin scales worth around Rs.23 lakh in the international market seized from him, police said here today.

“C.K. Thanga, a resident of Aizawl, was arrested yesterday along with the pangolin scales when he was handing them over to another person at Vairengte village in northern Mizoram along the Mizoram-Assam border,” a police official told reporters.

The official said that during questioning Thanga confessed to the police that he procured the pangolin scales from Meghalaya’s capital Shillong. They were to be sold in Aizawl or smuggled into neighbouring Myanmar.

According to wildlife officials,the scales of the endangered pangolin are used for making costly garments, medicines and for other purposes in south Asian countries.

Police and customs officials have on earlier occasions also seized pangolin scales in Mizoram, which shares borders with both Myanmar and Bangladesh.

“The scales are smuggled to China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea via Myanmar,” a customs official told IANS.

Pangolin, a long-tailed tropical ant-eating mammal found mostly in south American countries, is also reared in south India.

Hunting and killing pangolins is banned under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

– IANS

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