Closed on heels of seizure of a huge quantity of wildlife organs from different parts of Kandhamal and Boudh districts, forest officials in Berhampur on Saturday seized at least three kg of porcupine hair and eight kg of sandalwood chips.
It was seized from the house of one Ayub Khan on the Corporation Road in the city. However, Khan was not arrested as he was absconding when the raid was conducted. Forest officials suspected that he had fled to Uttar Pradesh after getting information about the seizure of leopard skins, pangolin scales and leopard nails in Kandhamal and Boudh districts on Friday.
It may be noted that the hair of porcupine has high medicinal values and commands a high price in international markets. The size of the hair ranges from four to six inches. The cache of hair must be from the bodes of three to four porcupine, officials said.
As the owner of the house was absconding on the eve of the raid, Divisional Forest Officer Berhampur A.K.Pathak said the organs were collected from his wife. No arrest was made in this connection.
Forest officials from Berhampur conducted raids at Ayub Khan's house after they got the information from Phulabani forest officials. "The DFO of Phulabani informed about Ayub's involvement in wildlife animal organ smuggling racket after they arrested Bedabyash Meher of Badabandha village under Purunakatak police station in Boudha district.
He was arrested by a group of forest and police officials from Tikabali in Kandhamal district when he was transporting two leopard skins from Boudh to Berhampur. He was transporting the leopard skins to hand it over to Ayub.
Forest officials would intensify their raids in various parts of the area in their bid to curb poaching and trading of wildlife organs in south and central Orissa.