CBI on Tuesday claimed to have arrested notorious tiger poacher Kiuttu from Katni in Madhya Pradesh for allegedly killing at least two tigers, in a joint operation with the state police.
CBI sources said they were on the lookout of Kiuttu for his alleged involvement in one of the three tiger poaching cases handed over to the agency by the Bombay High Court but during custody he is believed to have admitted to killing one more big cat.
According to wildlife experts, a tiger can fetch about Rs 4 crore in international market with high demand for its body parts from China where these are used in traditional medicine.
CBI spokesperson Kanchan Prasad said the CBI team of Special Crime, Mumbai, along with the state police and forest officials, raided a hideout in Dulahalli in Katni area in MP in the early hours on Tuesday from where the poacher was caught after a chase.
The sources said the poacher, along with his gang, was active in the Male Ghat Tiger Reserve area.
"After killing the tigers, the poachers used to dismember the carcass into different parts. These parts are believed to be transported to different areas of the country from where middlemen used to smuggle abroad," an official said.
CBI said Bombay High Court had handed over three cases to it asking it to unearth the larger conspiracy in poaching of tigers from the region.
The sources said the accused was among a few absconding persons and was being tracked for a few weeks.