The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has seized nearly 17 kg elephant tusk in Siliguri (West Bengal), according to an official statement issued today.
The recovery was done from a Kolkata-bound vehicle at Ghoshpukur in the outskirts of Siliguri.
The tusks in four pieces were being secretly transported in the vehicle, which was loaded with a consignment of black tea from Guwahati.
Tusks were to be exported to southeast-Asian countries via Bangladesh
On interrogation, the driver of the impugned vehicle admitted that the elephant tusks were handed to him in Baihata Chariali town for transport to Kolkata, the statement said.
"Preliminary investigation has revealed that the tusks were extracted from poached elephants in the forested areas of Assam and were being carried to Kolkata for ultimate export to southeast Asian countries via Bangladesh," it said.
Seized tusks valued at Rs. 1.69cr in international market
Consequently, the tusks, valued at about Rs. 1.69 crore in the international market, were seized, the statement added.
The DRI has detected a series of cases involving trafficking of elephants tusks in the past.
In four such cases, a total of 38.6 kg of elephant tusks were seized by the DRI last year.