The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, also known as WCCB, is a statutory body that functions in the Indian Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change that helps curb organized wildlife crimes in the country.
Established in 2008, the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau recently raided the Wildlife Trafficking Syndicates in Jammu and Kashmir after collaborating with the local Kashmiri police to seize prohibited products from two offenders involved in the illegal Wildlife Trade.
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Wildlife Crime Control Bureau Latest News
As per the current data by the State Forest and Police Authorities and Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB), around 2054 cases of illegal trafficking and wild animal killing got registered in India in the past three years (2018-2020). Hence to curb this, the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) took the following actions:
- Conducted various species-specific enforcement tasks with coordination of different State Enforcement Agencies.
- WCCB is a regulatory multi-disciplinary body appointed by the Indian Government under the Ministry of Environment and Forests to fight organized wildlife crime in India, with the wildlife crime control bureau headquarters in Delhi.
Roles and Responsibilities of the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB)
Below are some of the top roles and responsibilities of the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB).
- To collect data related to wildlife offence and to transmit it across different states and agencies to exercise prompt action specified under Section 38(Z) of the Indian wildlife protection Act, 1972
- To build infrastructure to analyze wildlife-related offences and help the state government decrease the instances of wildlife crimes.
- To counsel the customs administration in assessing flora and fauna according to the CITES, Indian wildlife protection Act, 1972, and EXIM policy.
- To conform with different foreign and global institutions to decrease the number of wildlife offences.
- To set up a central offence data bank.
- To propose to the Indian government different actions and approaches to eradicate wildlife crime.
- To execute various global protocols and conventions related to wildlife in the country.
- To convey data related to wildlife offences to curb illicit transboundary exchange.
- To prevent unlawful dealing and hunting of wildlife and wildlife by-products across the nation.
Steps to Investigate a Wildlife Crime in India
Here are the steps involved in investigating a wildlife crime in India.
- Investigation at the crime scene: The forest officials usually maintain a journal documenting relevant data. They further carry investigating kits to examine the crime scene and send all the seized material to the magistrate and the collected sample for examination.
- Interrogating the accused: The officials then record the confession statement of the accused within 6-12 hours of his arrestment. Each confession page should have the accused signature without any physical intimidation and brutality against the accused.
- Witness Examination: Any authority not under the rank of assistant forest conservator remains authorized to document the evidence. However, they cannot record any hearsay evidence or statement from the doctor who conducted the postmortem.
- Filing the complaint: The complaint gets recorded under Section 55 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 with relevant facts and circumstances sufficient to prove the incident. Once the complaint gets registered, there is no scope for further investigation.
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Achievements of the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau India
- UN Environmental Award: This prestigious honour is given to those institutions that play a key part in eradicating transboundary environmental offences. The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau India won this accolade twice in 2017 for conducting an operation named “operation save Kuma.” Under this operation, the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau combated the illicit trade of turtles and their parts and arrested 350 offenders engaged in such criminal activity.
- Chief Dave Cameron Award: This honour was earned by the Wildlife crime control bureau in the year 2010 for their devoted endeavours in environmental offences and education.
- Clark R. Bavin Wildlife law enforcement Award: This honour is presented to those institutions involved in sting operations and engaged in restricting prohibited wildlife trade. The wildlife crime control bureau earned this accolade in 2010 for catching 9 poachers dealing in the illegal trade of tiger and leopard skin.
The crimes like illegal wildlife and poaching greatly reduced the number of wildlife species counted in India. While the establishment of the wildlife crime control bureau brought in some positive changes, there is still a long way ahead.