Man held in possession of 11 musk pods

Kathmandu, February 2

The Central Investigation Bureau of Nepal Police today arrested a man with 11 musk pods from Jitpur Sub-metropolitan City-1 of Bara.

A team deployed from the CIB to prevent, control and investigate crimes related to environment and wildlife held Bal Bahadur Biswakarma, 56, of Chitwan. He had been living in Bara recently. Superintendent of Police Jeevan Shrestha, CIB spokesperson, said the musk pods recovered from Biswakarma weighed 500 gram.

CIB said it was the single biggest seizure of musk pods and officials were trying to dismantle the network of poachers and traders of wildlife parts. All musk deer species have been included in the Appendices of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and  Flora since1979.

Police said musk pods are harvested by killing the deer. The purported high value of musk is often attributed to the illegal hunting of musk deer. Only male musk deer produce musk at the rate of about 25 gram per animal, according to various studies.

Musk is used as an ingredient in traditional Chinese and Korean medicine to prepare sedatives and stimulants, and as perfume. Officials said many wildlife parts, including musk pods, are smuggled into China.

According to a study ‘On the Scent: Conserving Musk Deer’ published by Traffic Europe in Brussels, musk deer is widely distributed across the mountainous parts of Nepal. Within protected areas, the number of musk deer is increasing, while outside the protected areas they are continuing to decline.

Anyone involved in the trade of protected species could be slapped with a fine of up to Rs 100,000 and a jail term of five to 15 years as provisioned in the National Park and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1973.