Submitted by alvin on Sat, 2017-02-18 20:01 Bengaluru: A line watcher attahed to Range Forest Office, Kuppam in Andhra Pradesh has been caught red-hand while he was allegedly trying to sell off elephant tusk on February 13. The Malur forest sleuths and wildlife activists posed as buyers and caught Mehboob Basha. Interestingly, Basha had stolen the tusk from the department’s strong room, hoodwinking the officials, almost two years ago. The officials have also arrested Madhusudhan, a former employee of Biocon and Reliance Life Sciences, Mumbai – also a resident of Kuppam, Maya Kannan, Mani, Periya swamy and Doreswamy of Hosur. According to the police, Basha and others formed a team to trade the tusks, prohibited under Wildlife Act. These tusks were harvested from an electrocuted elephant in Kuppam range in 2013 amidst the presence of senior forest officials by a Goverment veterinaraian and the case is still on at Kuppam. "In all, five tusks were recovered of which two were stolen from Kuppam forest office, two belonged to Madhusudhan and another belonged to rest of the accused," said a senior forest officer from Kolar Division. When Bfirst.in contacted Range forest officer of Kuppam Range, Chittoor Division, Andhra Pradesh to check whether he was aware of the stolen tusk, he refused to speak. The Malur police have taken Mehboob Basha and Madhusushan into custody for further investigation.