Erumeli: Forest enforcers seized two pieces of elephant tusk worth nearly Rs 7 lakh in the black market and arrested one person from Erumeli late Tuesday.
Sources said a four-member gang was involved in transporting the tusks from Gavi to Erumeli. Another man reportedly escaped after one of them brandished a knife and threatened the unarmed forest guards.
The gang had purchased the tusks from a tribal in Gavi by paying Rs. 20,000 as advance. The man in custody was identified as Mahesh, aka Aashappan, 32, of Aruvachamkuzhi. He was arrested from near the Erumeli Dharmasastha temple. The tusk was kept at the house of Aruvachamkuzhi Rajan, another gang member, since two days. Acting on a tip-off, the guards were on a stakeout. Finding Rajan and Mahesh near the temple in the evening, the guards moved to arrest them. Rajan escaped, flaunting his knife.
The others in the gang were identified as Mohanan and Salvin. Mahesh told the forest personnel that he planned to sell the tusks in Erumeli. A country gun and sword were also recovered from Rajan's house.