Commando tiger raid impacts rumble on

Back in June, authorities in Bangladesh received intelligence of a tiger poaching and smuggling operation based in the capital Dhaka. The authorities moved quickly calling in the special forces to raid the house and three Bengal tiger cubs were rescued. Now after investigation 9 wildlife officers and forest staff have been suspended for ‘gross negligence’ by failing to protect the tigers in their home territory of the Sundarbans.

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Sundarbans forest chief Jahiruddin Ahmed told AFP that the nine officials,  included a deputy ranger, were suspended after failing to discharge their duties  properly.

There was gross negligence in their part to protect the cubs,” he said.

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After members of Bangladeshi’s special forces – the Rapid Action Battalion – swooped on the house making arrests and rescuing the tigers cubs 2 special investigation committees were set up to try to discover how three rare one-moth old Bengal tigers could be taken from one of the most heavily protected areas of the country.

The first investigation was led by Satkhira Range official Toufiqul Islam  and the Forest and Environment ministry formed their own internal investigation committee led by Akbar Hossain. The result of the investigations has led to 9 members of the local Forestry staff being suspended from duty. The suspensions took place on  21st August with details being released by the department yesterday on 3rd September.

The suspended forest staff were named as:

  • Koikhali Station Officer of Satkhira Range Alauddin,
  •  Assistant Station Officer Sohrab Ali,
  • Forest Guard Aminur Rahman,
  • Mizanur Rahman,
  • Abdur Razzak,
  • Boatmen: Mirza Sahidul, Nesar, Farid and Hafiz.

Sundarbans forest chief Jahiruddin Ahmed told AFP that the nine officials,  included a deputy ranger, were suspended after failing to discharge their duties  properly.

There was gross negligence in their part to protect the cubs,” he said.

The investigations into how the tiger cubs ended up in Dhaka revealed that local honey collectors who had permits to enter the protected are discovered the tiger cubs and sold them to the smugglers. The tigers ended up in Dhaka as they were being held at the house – a transit point –  ready to be sold on overseas.

It’s not know if the tigers were to be sold on alive to zoos or private pet collections  or were to be killed and sold off as parts for traditional medicines.

When the house was raided on June 11th the authorities made one arrest of a person – Zakir Hossain, a poacher –  at the house and investigations led to another 8 arrests. To date the man arrested at the scene and his mother has been sentenced to 2 years in prison for smuggling and the remaining 7 suspects are on bail awaiting their court cases.

 

 

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