Saturday, October 21, 2017

Forest cell at airport to curb wildlife smuggling

An exclusive wildlife cell will be set up at the Kempegowda International Airport to monitor and prevent smuggling and (illegal) trade of wildlife products. It’s learnt that the state forest department will be in charge of the wildlife cell.

The decision was taken at a recent meeting of several law-enforcing agencies in a two-day inter-agency coordination meeting at KIA on wildlife crime investigation and better coordination to deal with such crimes.

The meeting of multiple agencies last week saw participation of central and state agencies, including Central Industrial Security Force, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Customs department, Kempegowda International Airport officials and Wildlife Crime Control Bureau sleuths.

“One big issue which was discussed during the inter-agency meeting was the way smugglers running an organised racket and turning Bengaluru and some select cities as a safe exit or transit point in illegal wildlife trade.

Wildlife crimes, modus operandi, people and reasons involved were discussed at stretch. One of reasons why smugglers picking Bengaluru to transport wildlife products from India was absence of a wildlife cell, which swings into action as and when required. Hence it has been decided to set up a permanent wildlife cell at the airport,” a state forest department official told Bangalore Mirror.
21/10/17 Chetan R/Bangalore Mirror