Traffickers use government portals to evade authorities while smuggling animals Latest news of India | Popgen Tech
Wildlife traffickers in India are now taking help of the government’s Parivesh portal in a bid to cheat enforcement agencies while trying to transfer smuggled exotic animals from one state to another, officials aware of the matter said.
Enforcement agencies have detected at least three to four cases in the last two months where fake applications were submitted on government portals to make illegal consignments appear legal if they are intercepted in transit.
“We have detected at least three to four such cases where fake applications have been uploaded on the government portal, seeking the transfer of some species of exotic animals from one state to another,” said Agni Mitra, deputy director of the Eastern Control Bureau. Wildlife Crime. the region.
In June 2020 the center issued an advisory on how one can apply through the center’s Parivesh portal to import exotic species, declare existing stocks and transfer them from one state to another to streamline the process.
A senior official with knowledge of the matter said that some traffickers are found to be taking advantage of this portal.
“The modus operandi is somewhat like this. A person in Karnataka, who needs an exotic snake, would apply to the portal that he has a snake (even if he doesn’t) and wants to gift it to someone in Mizoram. Meanwhile, the latter smuggles the exotic snake across the international border. Just one or two days later or maybe on the same day, the person in Mizoram would apply on the portal that he cannot keep the snakes and wants to transfer them. it is given to someone else in Karnataka,” said the official.
If the enforcement agencies intercept the shipment in any state on its transit, the traffickers try to produce fake documents and claim that it was just a transfer, which moved through the Parivesh portal.
The issue was also highlighted at a wildlife crime symposium organized by Mizoram state legal services authority in collaboration with Mizoram police and state environment and forest department and customs division in Aizawal earlier this week.
“One such case which was detected a few months back, the trafficker claimed that he had three snakes and mentioned his residential address in Bangalore, the state was mentioned as Rajasthan and the village was mentioned as Kanpur,” said the official. there.
They seized the commission in Manipur. Mangrove snakes are slightly poisonous and are found in south-east Asian countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines among others.
“Recently, we seized a shipment in Mizoram’s Saiha district, which shares its border with Myanmar. The application was uploaded on the Parivesh portal just 24 hours before. Most of the required information, such as the NOC from the state’s chief wildlife warden and permission from the DGFT, to fill the application was missing and the person only wrote ‘not applicable’,” said L Sailo, chief warden wild animals in Mizoram. .
Officials said that almost all the shipments were routed to northeast India, and Mizoram in particular. Several consignments of exotic animals trafficked across the Indo-Myanmar border in Mizoram and Assam have been intercepted.
In May this year, the Mizoram police seized one of the largest such consignments in recent times in which around 468 exotic animals, including snakes, sloths, beavers and pottos were rescued. Earlier in April, the kangaroos were rescued from West Bengal.
“Wild animals can carry pathogens and illegal trade in these exotic animals can lead to many diseases, which can jump from animal to animal or animal to human. Some of the animals if they get a chance to escape can establish themselves and they become invasive threatening the local biodiversity,” said Bibhab Kumar Talukdar, chief executive of Aranyak, a Guwahati-based wildlife NGO.