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Agarwood smuggling racket busted in State

By SIVASISH THAKUR
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GUWAHATI, July 26 - Sleuths of Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB), Sub Regional Office, Guwahati, have busted a thriving international racket of awarwood smuggling and seized 28 kg of agarwood chips at the LGBI Airport last night.

The smuggled agarwood has been finding its way to metros like New Delhi and Mumbai, and from there to the Gulf countries.

Agarwood being listed in Appendix-II of CITES (Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora), it can be exported or re-exported only with a valid CITES export/re-export permit issued by the CITES management authority.

Subsequent investigations have revealed that the smugglers also forged transit permits (TPs) for transporting the agarwood consignment.

�It is a major seizure, coming close on the heels of two such smuggled transportations involving the same firm at Hojai in Nagaon district. Investigation is on and apparently a big racket is at work,� WCCB sources told The Assam Tribune.

The seizure was made from the luggage of Mohammed Jamir Uddin, a resident of Hojai, during a joint operation by WCCB, Customs, Forest Department and CISF.

WCCB sources said that a Hojai-based firm, M/s Assam Perfumery Supply, had sold 35 kg agarwood at the rate of Rs 4,000 per kg to Jamir Uddin on July 24. The person was travelling from Guwahati to New Delhi by Jet Airways flight (9W 0722) and he also had the flight ticket from New Delhi to Bahrain (Gulf Air) and Bahrain to Kuwait (Gulf Air).

�Jamir Uddin, the buyer, was smuggling the agarwood chips from Guwahati to New Delhi and further from New Delhi to Bahrain without CITES permit,� sources added.

For carrying forest produce from one place to another within the country, a transit permit (TP) is required from the forest department. �The racket is using fake TPs, and in the latest instance it was shown to be signed by S Barua, ACF, Golaghat Forest Division on July 24. But verification of records showed that there was no forest officer by the name of S Barua currently posted in Golaghat Forest Division,� sources added.

On July 5, the same firm of Hojai had sold 40 kg awarwood chips to Mashud Ahmed who carried the items from Guwahati to Mumbai by showing a fake transit permit. Earlier on June 5, the firm carried 80 kg agarwood chips from Guwahati to Mumbai through Banwari Shankar Parik using the same technique.

�The firm has been transporting the endangered variety of flora by showing fake TPs. A big racket is involved in this illegal trade,� sources said.

A case has been registered by Customs and investigation is on.

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Agarwood smuggling racket busted in State

GUWAHATI, July 26 - Sleuths of Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB), Sub Regional Office, Guwahati, have busted a thriving international racket of awarwood smuggling and seized 28 kg of agarwood chips at the LGBI Airport last night.

The smuggled agarwood has been finding its way to metros like New Delhi and Mumbai, and from there to the Gulf countries.

Agarwood being listed in Appendix-II of CITES (Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora), it can be exported or re-exported only with a valid CITES export/re-export permit issued by the CITES management authority.

Subsequent investigations have revealed that the smugglers also forged transit permits (TPs) for transporting the agarwood consignment.

�It is a major seizure, coming close on the heels of two such smuggled transportations involving the same firm at Hojai in Nagaon district. Investigation is on and apparently a big racket is at work,� WCCB sources told The Assam Tribune.

The seizure was made from the luggage of Mohammed Jamir Uddin, a resident of Hojai, during a joint operation by WCCB, Customs, Forest Department and CISF.

WCCB sources said that a Hojai-based firm, M/s Assam Perfumery Supply, had sold 35 kg agarwood at the rate of Rs 4,000 per kg to Jamir Uddin on July 24. The person was travelling from Guwahati to New Delhi by Jet Airways flight (9W 0722) and he also had the flight ticket from New Delhi to Bahrain (Gulf Air) and Bahrain to Kuwait (Gulf Air).

�Jamir Uddin, the buyer, was smuggling the agarwood chips from Guwahati to New Delhi and further from New Delhi to Bahrain without CITES permit,� sources added.

For carrying forest produce from one place to another within the country, a transit permit (TP) is required from the forest department. �The racket is using fake TPs, and in the latest instance it was shown to be signed by S Barua, ACF, Golaghat Forest Division on July 24. But verification of records showed that there was no forest officer by the name of S Barua currently posted in Golaghat Forest Division,� sources added.

On July 5, the same firm of Hojai had sold 40 kg awarwood chips to Mashud Ahmed who carried the items from Guwahati to Mumbai by showing a fake transit permit. Earlier on June 5, the firm carried 80 kg agarwood chips from Guwahati to Mumbai through Banwari Shankar Parik using the same technique.

�The firm has been transporting the endangered variety of flora by showing fake TPs. A big racket is involved in this illegal trade,� sources said.

A case has been registered by Customs and investigation is on.

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