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Kerala trader held in elephant poaching case
Tamil Nadu

Kerala trader held in elephant poaching case

S Murari

Babu Jose, an ivory trader from Idukki, was arrested by the Nilgiris police on Friday when he appeared in a Mettupalayam court in connection with an elephant poaching case. He was produced before a local magistrate who remanded him to 14 days judicial custody. He has been lodged in Coimbatore jail.

Babu Jose was first implicated in a case of elephant poaching for ivory in Sirumugai in Western Ghats in 2011 on the basis of a confessional statement made by two poachers who were arrested in another case in 2115.

The alleged poachers, Singham (45) and Gubendran(42) from Varasu Nadu in Theni district,  told forest officials that Jose was the mastermind and he gave them weapons. They said they gave the ivories to him and that they sold them in Thiruvananthapuram.

They admitted to poaching three elephants in Sirumugai in 2011 and in Mettupalayam-Kallar area in 2015. Jose got anticipatory bail in the Sirumugai case.

When he came to Mettupalayam court in connection with the second case, he was arrested by the police.

The police have registered cases under Wild Life Protection Act and the related Tamil Forest Act.