The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) Guwahati zonal unit has captured ivory weighing about 6 kg from two persons, including a contractual railway employee, near Guwahati Railway Station.
DRI officials said that this confirmed an elephant tusk smuggling trail from within a certain radius of Assam’s Kaziranga National Park to Nepal via the Chicken’s Neck corridor in West Bengal.
“Acting on a tip-off, our officials caught two persons near Guwahati Railway Station about 1 p.m. on Saturday and seized 24 pieces of ivory weight 5.838 kg from them,” a DRI officer who declined to be identified said.
The two men were identified as Badrul Hussain of Hojai from central Assam and Suraj Kumar Das from West Bengal. Mr. Das is a contractual railway employee working as a coach attendant of the daily Howrah-Guwahati Saraighat Express train.
They were captured as Mr. Das was in the process of receiving the ivory package from Mr. Hussain.
“Wildlife officials have confirmed the ivory was extracted from five adult and sub-adult elephants killed, in all likelihood, in Karbi Anglong district of central Assam,” the DRI officer said.
The hills of Karbi Anglong, adjoining Kaziranga National Park, is where animals take refuge when the rhino habitat with a large population of elephants is submerged during floods.
Officials said the 12 kg ivory seized in Siliguri earlier this year were sourced from north-eastern Assam’s Lakhimpur district, close to the border of Kaziranga’s Northern Range.