Police arrested two persons with tiger skin from Tilakpur of Baijanath Rural Municipality, in Banke, today.

The arrested have been identified as Dan Rmber Budha, 27, of Mellekh Rural Municipality and Nanda Bahadur Budha, 35, of Ramrosan Rural Municipality. Acting on a tip-off, a police team deployed from District Police Office, Banke held the duo with two pieces of tiger skin.

Police have arrested people from different places of Banke for smuggling the body parts of leopard, tiger and red panda of late.

As many as 48 pieces of tiger skin have been seized from different places of Banke in the past 10 years.

It is learnt that the hides of wild animals are being smuggled to the markets of China from Banke via Kathmandu, Nuwakot and Rasuwa.

According to the Central Bureau of Nepal Police, the hides of tigers that were killed in India's national parks, wildlife reserves and conservation areas, have been smuggled to China through Nepal.

Banke district has become a hub for smuggling the body parts of wild animals and their hides due to the open border with India. The hides of wild animals being smuggled from India can easily reach Kathmandu owing to the porous border with the neighbouring country.

Spokesperson Madhusudan Neupane of Banke District Police Office said a group of smugglers had been arrested with tiger hides from Bardiya and Kailali over a period of time. Tiger hides have been used to make traditional medicine, nutritious tonic, and cream, among other items in China, Myanmar and Vietnam. China sells all the body parts of tiger, including its meat.

A version of this article appears in the print on July 2 2021, of The Himalayan Times.