Kathmandu, June 27 Police have arrested five persons with body parts of endangered wild animals from different places of Kathmandu. Officials said three persons were held from Dhalku, Kathmandu Metropolitan City-14, for possessing a rhino horn, yesterday. Those allegedly involved in wildlife crime have been identified as Lal Bahadur Gurung, 53, of Gorkha, Asta Bahadur Thing 33, of Makwanpur and Govinda Prasad Moktan, 34, of Dhading. Acting on a tip-off, police raided the rented room of Gurung and arrested the trio with the rhino horn. They were preparing to sell the rhino horn at Rs 5.5 million to a person. They have been handed over to the District Forest Office, Kathmandu, for legal action. Police have launched further investigation into the case to ascertain whether the trio had poached a rhino for the horn or had purchased it from someone. In a separate operation, police arrested two persons with a leopard skin and skull from Navadurga Guest House at Mitranagar of Kathmandu Metropolitan City-26. The suspects have been identified as Mishrung Chemjong, 24, and Prashant Das Chemjong, 24, of Panchthar. A joint team of Metropolitan Police Circle, Balaju and Metropolitan Police Sector, Gongabu raided a room of the guest house, leading to their arrest and seizure of the wildlife parts. Police said racketeers were found to be using Kathmandu as a transit for smuggling wildlife body parts to foreign countries, mainly China, through their agents. Wild animals most sought-after by poachers and smugglers include rhino, tiger, red panda, leopard, and pangolin. According to police, poachers from many districts of the country visit Kathmandu with wildlife body parts in search of prospective clients who eventually smuggled the contraband abroad. A person arrested with body parts of endangered wild animals is handed over to the concerned district forest office, for legal action. District forest office is the only authorised agency to prosecute wildlife poachers and smugglers, under the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act. Anyone involved in the trade of protected species can be slapped with a fine up to Rs 100,000 and a jail term of five to 15 years, as per the act.
Five smugglers held, rhino horn seized
Published: 08:00 pm Jun 28, 2019