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Huge Wildlife Seizure in Delhi

2nd Feb., 2005

In the early hours of today, 1 February 2005, the Delhi police raided the basement of a warehouse in Patel Nagar and discovered a huge stock of wildlife products.

The haul consisted of 39 leopard skins (including one snow leopard), 2 tiger skins, 42 otter skins, 3 kg of tiger claws, 14 tiger canines, 10 tiger jaw bones, about 135 kg of porcupine quills, 60 kg of tiger and leopard paws, and 20 small pieces of bone that appear to be tiger and leopard 'floating' clavicle bones. Wildlife Protection Society of India personnel who saw the goods were shocked by the sheer quantity and variety of the seizure.

Four people were arrested, including the niece and another relative of the notorious wildlife trader Sansar Chand, and two employees at the warehouse. The four accused were brought before the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Mr Manoj Jain, this afternoon and were remanded on judicial custody for 14 days. Advocate Anil Sehgal represented the accused in court. The case has now been handed over to the Delhi Forest and Wildlife authorities.

This shocking new seizure is proof that wildlife traders can operate with impunity and that Delhi is still the hub of the illegal wildlife trade.

Sansar Chand is presently absconding from another wildlife case in Jaipur last year. His wife Rani and son Akash were arrested in this case on 18 October 2004. They are still being held in custody in Rajasthan. In April 2004, Chand was convicted to five years imprisonment, in another wildlife case in Ajmer. Three weeks later he was granted bail on a technicality. Spanning a period of at least 30 years in the trade, Chand was first arrested in September 1974, for a seizure which included tiger and leopard skins. He was convicted in this case in April 1982 to one and a half year's rigorous imprisonment.

"Wildlife Protection Society of India has been following more than ten court cases involving Sansar Chand for over a decade. He is probably responsible for more tiger and leopard deaths than anyone else in the country. This time we hope that his luck has run out", said Belinda Wright, Executive Director of WPSI.

 

 

 

 

 

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