Exotic pets recovered in Chennai

Exotic pets recovered in Chennai

The scarlet macaw that was confiscated by the DRI.

Seventy species of exotic pets, including the scarlet macaw, harlequin macaw, blue gold macaw, various varieties of conure and cockatoos were seized from two residential premises in Chennai on Monday.

Sleuths from the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) raided the complexes based on a tip-off from one of the smugglers, who was arrested in Aizawl over the weekend.

"The officers of DRI at Aizawl and Kolkata intercepted a consignment of assorted wildlife of foreign origin consisting of 35 birds of various species, one baby marmoset and one Bengal cat at the Kolkata Airport, which was smuggled through the porous Indo-Myanmar border," the DRI said in a statement.

The arrested accused confessed to his role and also named the persons for whom he is indulging in smuggling, who are based out of Mumbai, Pune and Chennai.

"The searches also resulted in a seizure of wildlife animals such as squirrel monkey, callithrix monkey and a pair of red iguanas. A key person was apprehended in Chennai during the operations conducted," the DRI said.

International trade in all wild fauna and flora in general, and the species covered under CITES, in particular, is regulated jointly through the provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972, the Foreign Trade (Development Regulation) Act 1992, the Foreign Trade Policy of Government of India and Customs Act, 1962.

As per the Customs Act, 1962, the offences are punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years and with fine.

Thousands of other animals, including exotic birds and rare monkeys, are trapped to meet the growing demand for exotic pets in India, the DRI said.