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SOS Rhino : In the News : In Alien Clothing

In Alien Clothing!


The Statesman – India
June 18, 2003


Unscrupulous poachers pass off fakes

Indians can probably beat anyone else in their ability to copy, and copy in such meticulous detail that no one can tell it apart from the original. You name it, we can fake it — even if the item is banned. The Enforcement Department’s recent haul of tiger skins and ground rhino horn, both banned o preserve the near extinct animals, is a case in point. ED officials may have patted themselves on the back when they caught sellers of tiger skins, only to find that they are in fact no more than skins of the lowly donkey painted to order. As neither the donkey nor bamboo shoots are protected, they do not fall under The Wildlife Protection Act and so the culprits got away scot free.

Maybe those arrested were not dealing with banned substances, but they were certainly perpetrating a fraud selling fakes. Surely that should have been enough for the enforcement agencies to keep them behind bars. There is something called the Indian Penal Code! If buying or possessing a banned item is a crime, then surely passing off donkey skins as tigers and bamboo shoots as rhino horn, and making a financial killing is a fraud and a crime. The laws needs to be enforced effectively. The impression given is that the authorities are awestruck at the ingenuity of the criminals to the extent that they are blind and struck dumb. Get to it!

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