Bangladesh has now turned into a safe transit route for international wildlife trafficking.
Various species of wildlife are being trafficked randomly from Bangladesh by road, sea and air route. Wildlife Crime Suppression Unit authorities told The Daily Industry that, three of the country’s animals are now at risk for international trafficking. These are Royal Bengal Tiger, Banrui and Takshak.
Despite the change in type and strategy, international wildlife smugglers are using Bangladesh as a safe route. However, wildlife carriers have been detained at various times, but the main culprits remain elusive. Native wildlife trafficking has also been increased in recent years in tandem with the drug and illicit arms trade. Apart from the capital Dhaka and its environs, wildlife is being hunted locally from Kishoreganj, Sunamganj, Chalan Beel and Chattogram Hill Tracts for commercial and overseas smuggling.
According to the concerned people of the forest department, the international smugglers bring wild animals to Bangladesh through airways from different countries. These animals move to different border areas by road. It was then smuggled through India to other countries including Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, China and Singapore. It is learned that, an international ring is actively involved in wildlife smuggling. Sometimes this gang is smuggling animals from inside the country in various ways, sometimes it is using Bangladesh as a safe transit route for wildlife smuggling.
When the wildlife carriers involved in trafficking were arrested at different times, the domestic and foreign nationals remained elusive. Live wildlife is trafficked through Shahjalal International Airport, Benapole, Hili and Banglabandha ports.
According to a report by ‘Traffic’, an international organization dealing with wildlife trafficking, black-spotted tortoises (turtle) are found in Bangladesh recently. These were sent to Hong Kong and China for smuggling. The tortoise shell is commonly used in making wallets and jewelry boxes. Its meat is sold in restaurants in Thailand and Singapore. According to the traffic report, wildlife and plants worth Tk 500 crore are smuggled from Bangladesh every year.
#TigerNews: Read the full article on Daily Industry, published on April 1, 2021.