Guwahati, Dec 3: The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) here has claimed to have made the first-ever seizure of marine products in the Northeast.
In one of the biggest seizures in the country, a joint team comprising officials of WCCB Guwahati and Guwahati forest range, conducted raids in separate locations of the city, including the Kamakhya Temple, and seized a huge cache of wild animal body parts and marine products, official sources said on Thursday.
Three persons have been arrested during the raids.
The WCCB team along with the Guwahati Forest Range conducted the search in Ganeshguri Lakhi Mandir area and seized 600 pieces of sea fans (enlisted in Schedule-I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972). A man identified as Rahul Choudhary has been arrested.
Based on Choudhary’s statement, another raid was conducted in two places of a market area on the premises of Kamakhya Temple. Subsequently, sea fans weighing 29 kg were seized from the possession of one Jitendra Saha.
Sea fans (scientifically called alcyonacea), or soft corals, are an order of corals that do not produce calcium carbonate skeletons. They are found throughout the oceans of the world, especially in the tropics and subtropics.
“Besides, sea fans weighing 5kg, 14 pieces of suspected musk pods, two kg animal parts, 1.5kg porcupine spikes, 43 pieces of hathjora (lizard parts) and three pieces of unidentified animal body parts have been seized from the possession of one Santosh Gupta.
Both Saha and Gupta have also been arrested and are being interrogated.