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Pangolin scales seized

 



Calcutta, Nov. 27

Large consignments of pangolin scales worth more than Rs 400 crore have been seized from Calcutta airport this week with officials saying they were being smuggled to China.

The consignments, hidden in bags labelled “ayurvedic medicine”, were bound for Imphal, from where they would have been taken to China via Myanmar, officials of the directorate of revenue intelligence (DRI) said.

Yesterday, 511kg of pangolin scales being carried in 12 bags were confiscated at the cargo terminal of Calcutta airport.

On November 21, another 135kg in five bags had been seized from the airport.

The consignments had been brought to Calcutta on a private airline from Chennai, the officials said. Since these were registered cargo, no passenger was accompanying the bags.

“The consignments are worth more than Rs 400 crore and were headed for China,” said Sesha Giri Rao, additional director-general, DRI, Calcutta. “From Imphal, the scales were supposed to be smuggled to China through Myanmar,” he said.

Rao said that in China, ayurvedic medicines were prepared from pangolin scales.

“The scales are in huge demand in that country,” he added.


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