TN Forest Dept, Police probe source of seized elephant tusks worth Rs 60 lakh

Chennai, May 16 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Forest Department and the Special Investigation Team of the state police are conducting a joint probe to find out the source of two elephant tusks (weighing 3.2 kg and worth Rs 60 lakh) that were seized by the Organised Crime Intelligence Unit (OCIU) of the Tamil Nadu police on Wednesday night.

The police have arrested a person, A. Ram Alagu (40) of Rajapalayam in Tamil Nadu along with the Elephant tusks.

The OCIU is an elite unit of the Tamil Nadu police which gathers information on criminals and their activities, and has a dossier of several such people and organised crime networks in its database.

The unit is, however, seeking help of Tamil Nadu Forest Department to ascertain the age of the elephant from whose body the tusks were extracted and also to find out more specifics regarding the tusk that has been recovered from the arrested person.

Sources in Tamil Nadu Forest Department told IANS that they have at present not got any leads but the interrogation of Ram Alagu is being conducted to get more details and to find out the exact people behind this.

OCIU, on its interrogation, has found out that Ram Alagu was just a conduit and that he did not know much about the tusk and the whereabouts from where it was procured.

The Tamil Nadu Forest Department has already sent a communique to all the forest divisions in the state and neighbouring states like Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telengana and Karnataka about the seizure of the tusk and the arrest of the person who was carrying the tusks.

The four southern states are into a three-day synchronised census of elephants and there is an excellent rapport among the Forest Departments of these states.



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