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JALPAIGURI: The forest department arrested four persons in the wee hours of Saturday while they were smuggling 15lbs of Cobra venom worth more than Rs 200 crore in international black market. The venom is said to have been collected from France and was being taken to Bhutan via Bangladesh, Balurghat and Siliguri
The Belakoba range office staffers made the recovery and arrested the persons from a hotel in Siliguri. Posing as buyers, a forest team under the leadership of Belakoba ranger Sanjay Dutta lured the smugglers and got hold of the venom after two days' effort. A firearm, four rounds of live cartridges and a vehicle were also seized.
The five bullet-proof jars containing the venom were made of Belgium glass.
The arrested persons were identified as Sujoy Kumar Das, Bipul Sarkar and Pintu Banerjee - residents of South Dinajpur - and Amal Nubia from Malda's Chanchal.
The seized venom, said Dutta, is worth over Rs 200 crore in international black market and was likely to be sent to China where it's used to make several medicines. "We suspect it's cobra venom which has high demand in markets especially in China. The venom is also used in making narcotic drugs which are in high demand in rave parties," Dutta said.
The accused were produced in a Jalpaiguri special court on Saturday and sent to judicial remand for two days.
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