Sambalpur: The Special Task Force of the Crime Branch busted a leopard skin racket and arrested seven persons from Kuchinda in Sambalpur district on Friday.
Sources said the STF conducted a raid and seized four leopard skins. Seven persons were arrested when they were looking for businessmen to sell the leopard skins to.
The arrested persons, who were involved in trading of leopard skins, have been identified as Sanjay Bagh, Sunil Kallu of Laikara in Jharsuguda district, Dusraj Patel of Laikara, Minaketan Mundu of Mahulpulli in Sambalpur, Kailash Majhi of Laikara, Jhulaketan Naik of Laikara and Kumad Bara of Mahulpulli in Sambalpur.
It is suspected that the arrested persons are poachers with links to the national and international market. Hunters and poachers often kill animals and sell their skin in the national and international market for lakhs of rupees.
It is a matter of concern and a challenge for the forest department that tigers are not safe in Odisha’s forests, sources said.