Training for airport security, customs, CISF on forest crimes

Did you know that mongoose hair is being smuggled for making paint brushes, crocodile skin to manufacture belts, purses and hand bags and pangolin scales passing off as dry herbs and general products?

This was news even to CISF personnel, customs and vigilance staff at the Kempegowda International Airport who are undergoing a two-day training programme on wildlife crimes and capacity building.

The training workshop is being organised by the Karnataka Forest Department and Wildlife Crime Control Bureau. Officials from airport security, customs, directorate of revenue intelligence, police, customs and Central Industrial Security Force are attending the training. Four days ago, KIA security teams seized 1,012 turtles and star tortoises.

Six months ago, 97 star tortoises were smuggled to Singapore which the airport officials were unaware of.

“Not many are aware that many plants and roots having medicinal value and protected under various wildlife acts are being smuggled in the guise of ornamental plants. “This two-day workshop is being held to make officials aware of all such threats and cases,” said R Sharath Babu, environmental and wildlife advisor, who is part of the workshop.

Officials from across India are participating in the workshop, sharing their experiences and knowledge. The training is not limited to familiarising officials about wildlife products which are protected, face threat and are being smuggled, but also on the wildlife laws and relevant sections. The staff was also trained on how a natural or wildlife item will look like when it passes through X-ray machines and other scanners.

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