The Telegraph
Wednesday , September 5 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999

Pangolin scale haul in Aizawl

Silchar, Sept. 4: The central customs and excise sleuths in Mizoram have seized 63kg of pangolin scales, worth Rs 1.2 crore, from Bawgkawn in north Aizawl.

Sources in Mizoram central customs last night said the scales were yesterday seized from the residence of K. Manga, who has been handed over to Aizawl police.

They said the scales were procured from south India and would have been smuggled from Mizoramís western district of Champhai across the 404km Indo-Myanmar border to south Asian countries like China, Taiwan, Hongkong and South Korea where they are in high demand for their medicinal values.

The scales are used to prepare aphrodisiacs and painkillers, central customs officials here and in Aizawl said.

The scales of this insectivorous animal are also used to stitch jackets in south Asian countries, they added.

The sources said this tropical ant-eating mammal, mostly found in South American countries, is reared in south India.

Pangolins are also regularly hunted in south India though their hunting and killing is banned in India under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, they added.

This is the second such haul of pangolin scales in Cachar district and adjoining Mizoram in the past two years.

On October 21 last year, the central customs department intercepted an Aizawl-bound passenger bus and confiscated 144kg of pangolin scales worth Rs 1.9 crore from two Myanmarese Mizos.

The two Myanmarese nationals Lalengliana, 46, and M. Chaona, 39, were taken into custody.