The Special Task Force (STF) of the forest department seized a live Chinese pangolin and arrested three persons on Friday at Jagiroad in Assam’s Morigaon district.

Acting on intelligence inputs provided by the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) Guwahati, a joint operation was conducted and the pangolin was seized at Jagiroad from the possession of three persons.

The arrested persons have been identified as Simran Sultan, Niranjan Mandal and Dipon Malakar. The trio was trying to sell the pangolin at Rs 2 lakh.

A WCCB sleuth said they had been following the culprits for the last three month. “During the preliminary inquiry, it came to light that the arrested persons brought the live pangolin from Baithalansu village at Rs 40,000 and was trying to sell it to a person at Rs 2 lakh,” the official said.

According to wildlife experts, the mammal is the most poached and trafficked animal globally and is hunted because of its scales and meat.

In China and Vietnam, pangolin meat is consumed as a luxury wild meat dish and scales are prescribed in traditional medicines to treat skin conditions and improve blood circulation.

Chinese pangolin is found in Assam and the eastern Himalayas.

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