Wildlife offenders convicted under PMLA

Two persons were convicted by the Special CBI judge under section 3 and 4 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The accused were arrested by the joint team of Delhi Police Crime branch, Maharashtra Forest Department and the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau after receiving an information from an unknown source for possession of uncured tropies of tiger parts, tiger nails and cash worth of Rs. 52,60,000.

A complaint was filed under section 39, 44, 49B, and 51 of the Wildlife Protection against them and another complaint was filed at the Delhi Zonal Office of the Enforcement Directorate, as the offences also fell in the scheduled category of PMLA.

The accused argued that there is an absence of an independent witness in the case and no investigation was done to prove their offence.

The Court examined the evidences and stated that there is no need of production or examination of the informer in the court to protect his identity according to the Wildlife Protection Act. Hence, the claim was rejected by the court.

The court also added that there is no need to produce animal contraband in the court to prove offence and the money obtained from all the accused will be confiscated by the central government under section 8(5) and 8(7) of the PMLA.

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