The CBI has taken over the probe into the seizure of over 21 lakh peacock tail feathers by the Customs department that were being smuggled to China disguised as plastic pipes, officials said on Thursday. The 2,565 kilogram consignment, valued at Rs 5.25 crore and packed in 77 packages, was allegedly booked by a Seelampur-based exporter Ayaz Ahmed, who owns a company named Galaxy Rider, they said.
The Customs team had seized the consignment from Inland Container Depot, Tughlaqabad here in March. The agency has booked Ahmed and his company in the case, the officials said.
“According to source information, the seized feathers include those plucked by the way of poaching of peacocks and this is part of a huge criminal network. Without poaching or hunting, it is not possible to acquire such a huge consignment of feathers," an official said. The CBI has alleged that between September 2020 and February 2021, various consignments of peacock tail feathers through 26 shipping bills were exported by Ahmed’s company using the services of Logistic Curator India Pvt Ltd to a consignee in China by concealing the package details.
Peacock is a protected bird under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, which prohibits its hunting.