Arrested wildlife smuggler Pradip Kumar was on Sunday sent to four-day police custody by a special court here.
Kumar was arrested by police on Saturday in connection with the seizure of 37 rare and exotic animals and reptiles in Jorabat on the outskirts of Guwahati.
The driver of the vehicle, which was carrying the animals from Aizawl to Guwahati, is also in custody. The case was transferred to Basistha police station as Jorabat has only a police outpost.
Kumar was booked under Section 51 of the Wildlife Protection Act.
Investigating officer Jyoti Prasad Handique said, “After the case was transferred from Jorabat police outpost, we filed a case against the accused under Section 51 of the wildlife act. We sought 10 days’ remand for further investigation and interrogation of Kumar but the court allowed only four days. We have asked for a report from the forest department on the animals recovered, most of which seem to be of exotic origin.”
Sources said the exotic animals will have to be identified as they do not come under the purview of the act.
“It has to be ascertained if they fall under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites) appendices. If yes, then something can be done under the export-import policy,” an expert said.
Appendix I of Cites lists species that are the most endangered. Appendix II lists species that are not threatened with extinction at present but may become so unless trade is closely controlled while Appendix III lists species included on the request of a government that already regulates their trade and that needs the cooperation of other countries to prevent unsustainable or illegal exploitation.
Wildlife expert Bibhab Talukdar said the interesting part is they were coming from Myanmar and going to Uttar Pradesh. “This aspect needs rigorous investigation by the concerned agencies,” Talukdar said.