Coimbatore: The Forest department here has arrested a Kerala-based elephant tusk trader near Mettupalayam court on Friday in connection with elephant poaching cases in Coimbatore forest division.
According to Coimbatore DFO Thiru Venkatesh, during 2011 three tuskers were poached near Mettupalayam-Kallar and one at Sirumugai and their tusks were allegedly smuggled.
Preliminary investigations revealed that the gang involved in poaching the elephants had sold the tusks to a trader in Kerala identified as Babu Jose. Meanwhile, a duo was arrested in connection with poaching a tusker near Segoor during 2015, they were identified as Singam, 45, and Gubendran, 42, from Varusa Nadu in Theni district.
During further investigation the duo admitted to their crime of poaching three elephants at Mettupalayam-Kallar forest area and one in Sirumugai during 2011. They duo also revealed that Babu Jose of Idukki district in Kerala acted as the ‘brain’ and also supplied gun and weapons for the duo.
Babu Jose had allegedly sold the elephant tusks in Tiruvananthapuram in Kerala. The Forest department had lodged a complaint and was searching for Jose.
While Babu Jose got an anticipatory bail in connection with Sirumugai poaching case, however bail was denied in Mettupalayam-kallar poaching case.
Jose came to the Mettuplayam court on Friday in connection with the Sirumugai case; on knowing about his arrival Forest department officials here who were waiting near the court, arrested him in connection with Mettuplayam-kallar poaching case while he came out for tea.
Jose was booked under various sections of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 along with TN forest act 1882 section 21 DH (2) and produced before magistrate Saravana Bab. The magistrate remanded Babu jose to 15 days
judicial custody and he was later lodged at Coimbatore Central prison.