PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Wildlife Department has arrested four persons in Abbottabad town and confiscated 1.3 kilogrammes of pangolin scales from them, besides impounding a vehicle.

Divisional forest officer (wildlife Abbottabad) Mohammad Idrees told Dawn on Saturday that a team was constituted following report of smuggling of pangolin scales from Hazara region to South Africa. The team apprehended two brokers in Abbottabad town, who belonged to Mansehra district. The arrested persons disclosed the hideout of their other two accomplices, who were also arrested by a special squad.

He said total 1.3 kilogrammes of pangolin scales and a car were recovered from the two men, adding price of one kilogramne pangolin scales was around Rs50 million in the international market.

Mr Idrees said cases had been registered against the traffickers under sections 9(b), 12, 16, 17, 20, 59 of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Wildlife and Biodiversity Act, 2015. He said Rs330,000 penalty was imposed on the traffickers.

Conservators said pangolin scales were used in traditional Chinese medicine. They said that illegal trafficking could pose threat to pangolins in the region, which survived on ants and termites.

International commercial trade of pangolin scales has been banned to protect the animal.

Published in Dawn, December 12th, 2021

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