India: Rhino Horn Trafficking Gang Members Nabbed

At least 17 rhinos have been killed in India between 01 January and 17 October, 2012.

Police in Assam have arrested suspects from two rhino horn trafficking gangs, believed to be responsible for killing rhinos in Kaziranga National Park.

Most of the suspects are from the Karbi Anglong district. Gang leader Lyngdoh Rongpi was arrested in the Jamelangshu hills, and his accomplices (perhaps as many as 17) were later arrested at a Bokolia village, according to The Hindu.

An axe, one AK-47 rifle, 37 rounds of ammunition, two .303 rifles, and one gun were seized from the suspects.

The Times of India reports that seven people were arrested in the Karbi Anglong and Nagaon districts. The suspects were identified as Rajen Ingti, B Jangkha, Sona Dey, Tenjit Terang, Suren Gupta, Babu Timung, and Robin Ronghang. The gang was allegedly making a rhino horn deal with the leader of the Karbi Peoples Liberation Tigers (KPLT), a militant group.

In response to the killing of at least 17 rhinos in Assam this year, the government distributed 200 self-loading rifles to the forest guards in Kaziranga National Park, along with deploying an additional 100 forest guards.


Image: iStockphoto.com

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Rhishja Cota-Larson

I am the founder of Annamiticus, and I work as an independent Wildlife Trade and Communication Design Consultant. I have journeyed to the streets of Hanoi to research the illegal wildlife trade, and to the rainforests of Sumatra and Java to document the world’s rarest rhinos. I am a Co-Chair of the SSN Pangolin Working Group. At CITES meetings, I collaborate with colleagues from around the world to lobby in favor of protecting endangered species. I am a Wildlife Trade and Trafficking Consultant for the upcoming documentary The Price, the host of Behind the Schemes and author of the book Murder, Myths & Medicine. I enjoy desert gardening, herping, reading, designing, and walking with my dogs.