Two elephant tusks seized in Verna raid, two arrested
Verna police on late Tuesday evening seized two elephant tusks from possession of two persons. The cost of the tusks in the international market is said to be over Rs 20 lakh, the police said.
As per available information from Verna police, they received information from some sources that two persons were transporting two tusks in a car and that they were heading towards IDC Verna. Accordingly, Verna police swung into action and laid a trap at the junction near the Cipla company at IDC Verna at around 8.30 pm.
A team led by police inspector Sandesh Chodankar, along with police sub-inspector Sushant Sangodkar, police constables Ajit Shirodkar, Rajesh Naik, Girish Naik and Videsh Naik, under the supervision of deputy superintendent of police (Vasco) Sunita Sawant, conducted the raid and apprehended Srikanth Kanekar (42) and Vignesh Karapurkar (29), both residents of Margao and seized a Maruti 800 car. After an intensive search, the Verna police recovered two elephant tusks which were hidden in the car.
“We have recovered the tusks from the possession of the accused and are investigating to trace the source of the tusks,” said Verna PI Chodankar. Police suspect that the alleged accused might have brought the tusks from some neighbouring states to sell them to clients. “We suspect that it is a case of smuggling,” stated PI Chodankar.
The police are verifying whether there is any international racket involved in smuggling of the tusks and whether there are any more persons operating the illegal activity.
The accused have been arrested under Sections 9, 39, 40, 42 read with 51 of the Wild Life Protection Act 1972. The police have intimated the forest department about the seizure of the tusks. Both accused were produced before the Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC), Vasco, on Wednesday, and they were remanded to 2 days in police custody. Further investigation is in progress under the supervision of deputy superintendent of police