Changed strategy of Myanmarese marine poachers not working in Andamans: DGP
After interrogating them in association with other security agencies, we have got vital leads which will help us in controlling the menace of poaching effectively, the top cop said.As many as 157 foreign poachers were arrested from January 1, 2022, to September 2, 2023, and of them, 98 alone were apprehended in the last nine months, he said.Myanmarese poachers were getting into our waters and even reaching into our islands to get marine products like sea cucumber and turbo snails.
A large number of Marine poachers from Myanmar were arrested in Andaman and Nicobar Islands in recent months, proving that they have changed their strategy to sneak into Indian waters, Director General of Police Devesh Chandra Srivastava said.
A huge quantity of endangered sea cucumbers and turbo snails were also seized from the foreign poachers arrested in the archipelago, Srivastava said. These animals were used in food, medicines and as decorative items.
"We have noticed a trend that these poachers are getting into our waters even in the monsoon. There is an increase in such activities as compared to the previous year and therefore we have intensified our anti-poaching operations in all these affected areas in Andaman and Nicobar Islands," he said in an interview to PTI.
Till a few years ago, poachers from the neighbouring country generally did not venture into the Indian waters during the monsoon as the sea is rough in the season and they used small boats.
"In the recent past, we have made significant progress in arresting these poachers. After interrogating them in association with other security agencies, we have got vital leads which will help us in controlling the menace of poaching effectively," the top cop said.
As many as 157 foreign poachers were arrested from January 1, 2022, to September 2, 2023, and of them, 98 alone were apprehended in the last nine months, he said.
"Myanmarese poachers were getting into our waters and even reaching into our islands to get marine products like sea cucumber and turbo snails. But my team with assistance from other security agencies has been effective in controlling this menace," Srivastava said. Sea cucumbers are highly endangered and help keep the ocean's bed clean by eating decaying matter and food which settles on the sea bed. Easy to prey upon, these slow-moving cucumbers are available 30-60 feet below the sea level. They are used for medicinal purposes in the international market.
Turbo snails are also in demand in international markets and various species of this creature are used in exotic food preparations in various Asian countries. While their shells are used in manufacturing decorative and jewellery items.
Lauding his personnel, the DGP said, "Our team tasked with anti-poaching operations in remote islands mainly in North and Middle Andaman are doing a wonderful job, braving rough seas and dense forests teeming with poisonous snakes." The DGP said that there have been complaints of drug peddling in the islands and all the departments concerned are tackling the menace in a big way.
He claimed that they have made significant drug seizures and are probing forward and backward linkages.
Between January 1, 2022, and September 2, 2023, a total of 109 drug-related cases were registered and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands police arrested 165 people. They have seized nearly 94 kg of cannabis and 22 kg of methamphetamine and other items. On safeguarding India's strategic interest in the archipelago, the DGP said, "The police play a vital role in internal security and also coastal security. We have the Navy and Coast Guard here. So, all agencies work in tandem so that the security and safety of the country and its countrymen are protected."
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