4 arrested for smuggling pangolin

India: Police have rescued a pangolin and arrested four persons for their alleged involvement in its smuggling in Chhattisgarh's Mahasamund district, an official said on Thursday.

The Indian pangolin is an endangered species and its scales, used for medicinal purposes, are in great demand in South East Asia.

The accused were nabbed from Boir village check post under Khallari police station limits on Tuesday evening when they were heading to the state capital Raipur in a sports utility vehicle (SUV), the official said.

After receiving information that some persons had caught a pangolin from a forest in Khallari area and were shifting the animal to Raipur for selling it, a police team swung into action, Mahasamund's Superintendent of Police Divyang Kumar Patel said.

The accused, identified as Khoman Diwan (40) and Omprakash Thawait (40), residents of Khallari, and Dageshwar Sahu (32) and Ramesh Mishra, both from Raipur, were intercepted and the pangolin, packed in a jute bag and concealed below the seat, was rescued from their vehicle, he said.

The SUV and four mobile phones were also seized from the accused, Patel said, adding that the four were booked under provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

(Source: The Yahoo News)