Two arrested in Bihar for smuggling rare lizards

Patna, Jan 17 (IANS) Two persons were arrested in Bihar’s Kishanganj district for smuggling of two Tokay Gecko lizards, highly in demand in international market for their supposed medicinal purposes, police said on Tuesday.

A joint team of state, railway and forest officials arrested the accused from Kishanganj railway station on Monday night when they were waiting to deliver the two lizards, a rare species.

“Both arrested men are from Assam and arrived in Kishanganj by train, and revealed during interrogation that they have been asked to deliver the two lizards to a local man in lieu of Rs 5 lakh,” Sashastra Seema Bal officer Kumar Sundaram said.

He said the two lizards were handed over to district forest department.

According to forest officials, Tokay Geckos are found in the forest hills of north eastern states in India but catching them is a difficult task.

Hundreds of people are active in the northeastern states of Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Assam to catch and trade these species of lizards, mostly to China, Indonesia, Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries for their purported medicinal qualities.