Ivory tusks worth 10L seized at Saligao

Elephant ivory tusks weighing almost seven kg and worth an estimated Rs 10 lakh were seized from two persons by the Calangute police at Saligao junction on Friday evening.

One more person was nabbed in this connection from Canacona later in the evening. All the three accused are residents of Karwar, Karnataka.

Calangute PI Nolasco Raposo said he along with other policemen were on routine patrolling at the Saligao junction at around 4pm when they noticed two persons moving around with a khaki-coloured backpack. On suspicion, the police team stopped the two men and asked them to open the bag. On opening the bag, they found three pieces of elephant ivory tusks. Two of the pieces were of one elephant tusk cut into two.

One of the pieces was 47 cm long and weighed 2.6 kg, and the other piece was 45 cm long and weighed three kg. When joined together, they formed one tusk of 97 cm. The third piece was 15.6 cm long and weighed 1.39 kg. The seized ivory, weighing nearly seven kg, is estimated to be worth 10.5 lakh.

The police immediately took the two men, Vijay Kumar Naik and Sandeep Naik, into custody and later placed them under arrest. During questioning, the police discovered that the duo had one more accomplice who was waiting for them in Canacona.

Raposo then took one of the accused and rushed to Canacona, where they managed to intercept the third accused Victor Telles at Polem. He was taken into cusotdy and then brought to the Calangute police station for further questioning.

Police have registered an offence under Sections 9, 44 (1) (a), 49B and 51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. Speaking to TOI, Raposo said, "It appears that the elephant tusks are from an elephant poached in Karnataka by hunters." Further investigations are in progress. [TOI]