Ahmedabad: The Ahmedabad police on Wednesday arrested a man allegedly involved in smuggling and selling valuable animal parts at an international level.
During questioning, it was revealed that the accused, Prakash Chunilal Jain, had connections to the notorious Sandalwood thief, Veerappan.
He lived in the Salem area of Tamil Nadu from 1992 to 2006, used to visit Veerappan's village Koltur from time-to-time and was also aware of the name of Veerappan's wife.
He was also involved in obtaining large quantities of ivory through Veerappan's gang members.
This information prompted the Ahmedabad Crime Branch team to collaborate with the Tamil Nadu Police and the Tamil Nadu Forest Department, leading to the registration of a case against the accused for the illegal sale of animal remains.
Acting on the instructions of the Joint Commissioner of Police and Deputy Commissioner of Police, under the guidance of the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Crime Branch, A.D. Parmar, the team of officers from the City Crime Branch successfully apprehended Prakash from Bodakdev, Ahmedabad.
The accused, wanted under various sections of the Wild Animals (Protection) Act, 1972, including Sections 2, 39(b), 44, 49(b), 50, and 51, was handed over to officials from the Tamil Nadu Forest Department's Trichy range.
The crime registered was initially reported in the Tiruchirappalli range of Trichy, Tamil Nadu, where Prakash was found illegally selling the remains of various animals, including one tiger skin, two ivory, two deer horns and one fox tail.
This arrest is not the first encounter the accused has had with the law.
Previously, the Ahmedabad Crime Branch apprehended Prakash one-and-a-half months ago for the possession of elephant tusks worth Rs 35 lakh.
A case was registered under Section 379, 411 of the IPC and Section 39, 43(1), 43(2) of the Wild Animals (Protection) Act, 1972. Legal action was taken accordingly.
The continuous surveillance and investigation by the Crime Branch team culminated in the arrest of the accused, who has now been handed over to the Tamil Nadu Forest Department for further legal proceedings.