Four persons were arrested yesterday while smuggling two slow loris and an owl at Lohagara upazila of Chattogram.

Two motorcycles used for smuggling were also seized, said police.

The smugglers were trying to smuggle the animals after capturing them from Bandarban, said Ruhul Amin, sub-inspector of Lohagara Police Station. The animals were found when the police stopped the smugglers in front of the Lohagara Bar Aulia College, said the SI.

The rescued animals were handed over to the forest department and a case has been registered against the four, added the SI.

Mahmud Hossain, ranger of the Chunati wildlife range, said they will release the rescued to the forest after completing the official process.

In recent times, Chattogram has become a transit route for wildlife trafficking by poachers and smugglers due to the indifference and lack of proper monitoring of the authorities concerned.

The organised crime came to light once again after Chattogram police thwarted several consignments of endangered wild animals while being smuggled from remote hilly areas of Bandarban and Khagrachhari via Chattogram.

Investigators and the forest department said several syndicates comprising international rackets have been involved in the smuggling.

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