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Three held for smuggling animal parts

india Updated: Feb 16, 2009 12:25 IST

IANS
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Three people have been arrested in Uttar Pradesh's Bahraich district for smuggling skins of wild animals. They are part of a racket operating out of Nepal, police alleged on Monday.

"The three were nabbed Sunday from Ghagra locality in Bahraich along with skin of a leopard and several hyenas," police inspector Vijay Kumar Yadav told IANS on phone.

The trio admitted that they have been working for wildlife smugglers based in Nepal for the last five years, the official said.

"They have been selling skins of wildlife animals in Nepal, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand among other places," said Yadav.

According to the police, the three were involved in the smuggling of two tiger skins that were found in a suitcase last week in Rupaideehah locality in Bahraich, over 270 km from in Lucknow.

"Apparently, they got information about our raid and left the suitcase behind that was later recovered by forest officials," the official said.

A case under the Wildlife Protection Act has been registered against the men, he added.

Bahraich, where the Katarniyaghat forest range is located, is home to 54 tigers and 32 leopards, officials said.