Eight smugglers arrested

Nepalgunj, April 13

Eight persons have been arrested for their alleged involvement in smuggling wildlife and forest products taking advantage of the nationwide lockdown, in Bardiya National Park.

The smugglers were arrested after the national park tightened security during the lockdown. Eight smugglers were arrested from the park on Saturday.

The national park has tightened security in the park and buffer zone after the authorities received complaints about increasing illegal activities in the park during the lockdown.

Chief Conservation Officer at the national park Ananatha Baral said that two smugglers from Barbardiya Municipality were arrested for their involvement in timber smuggling, two from Bansgadhi were arrested for illegal river mining and four persons were arrested for fishing in the river using poison. Similarly, a patrol team deployed from the park seized a musket used for wildlife poaching. The team said a person fled the scene leaving the musket behind after he saw the patrol team. Search for the absconding hunter is on.

The park administration informed that as many as five boats, 16 fishing nets and 22 hooks were seized and destroyed in the national park. Earlier, the national park had arrested 28 people for their involvement in wildlife and timber smuggling after the nationwide lockdown.

Security has been beefed in the park and its surroundings after smugglers became active during the lockdown.

Apart from park staffers, Nepali Army and Nepal Police personnel have been deployed in the park.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on April 14, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.