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Biodiversity & Environment

Smuggling of Exotic Macaws

  • 23 Jun 2020
  • 5 min read

Why in News

Recently, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has busted a wildlife syndicate (smuggling group) which was involved in smuggling of exotic macaws from Bangladesh.

Key Points

  • The Joint Operation:
    • The cargo containing 22 exotic birds which had been smuggled in through the Bongaon area of Indo-Bangla border, were seized at Kolkata airport.
    • The birds were identified as hyacinth macaw, pesquet’s parrot, severe macaw and hahn’s macaw.
    • The seized macaws are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), with hyacinth macaw being accorded the highest protection.
  • Provisions Related to Illegal Wildlife Trade:
    • Illegally imported birds are confiscated under Section 111 of the Customs Act, 1962 which is read with the CITES provisions and the Foreign Trade Policy ( Import-Export Policy) of India.
    • Also, Sections 48 and 49 of the Wildlife Protection Act prohibit trade or commerce in wild animals, animal articles or trophies.
  • Concerns:
    • The possibility of spread of zoonotic diseases on account of smuggling in such exotic species is increasingly becoming a global concern against the backdrop of Covid-19.
    • Illegal wildlife trade was ranked the fourth largest transnational organised crime globally, after the smuggling of narcotics, counterfeit goods and human trafficking.
    • West Bengal and northeast India are vulnerable to cross-border wildlife smuggling because of their proximity to the Bangladesh and Myanmar borders, and to Thailand.
    • Over the recent years, the DRI has seized a range of endangered species, including black-and-white ruffed lemur, hoolock gibbons, palm civets and Indian star tortoise etc.
    • Another major concern has been the smuggling of elephant tusks and ivory products.
    • Many international organisations involved in wildlife crime use the Indo-Bangladesh Border for various other illegal activities, such as smuggling of drugs, commercial goods, and even gun-running, apart from illegal movement of foreign currency.

Hyacinth Macaw

Wildlife Crime Control Bureau

  • It is a statutory multi-disciplinary body, established by the Government of India under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, to combat organized wildlife crime in the country.
  • The Bureau has its headquarters in New Delhi.

Directorate of Revenue Intelligence

  • It is India's chief anti-smuggling intelligence, investigations and operations agency.
  • It works under the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), Ministry of Finance.
  • It is headed by a Director General of the rank of Special Secretary to the Government of India.
  • DRI works to secure India's national and economic security by preventing the outright smuggling of firearms, gold, narcotics, fake Indian Currency notes, antiques, wildlife and environmental products.
  • Moreover, it also works to prevent the proliferation of black money, commercial frauds and trade based money laundering.
  • Headquarters: New Delhi

Source: TH

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