Excise left red-faced as Forest dept impounds 'unaccounted' deer antler from its office

Forest officials took into custody the 39 cm-long antler from the Excise office in Kochi on Wednesday.

Kochi: The excise department was left red-faced on Wednesday after a team of forest officials reached its Kochi office and impounded a deer antler that was found to be unaccounted for.

The antler that is 'a bit old' was confiscated from a group that was arrested in possession of drugs on August 19. However, the excise had reportedly failed to mention the antler in its FIR.

A team of forest officials led by Dhaniklal G, Range Officer, Kodanad, took into custody the 39 cm-long antler that is assumed to have belonged to a spotted deer.

"Ideally, they (excise) should have informed us (forest) immediately or mentioned it as evidence in the court and it would have been transferred," said Dhaniklal. The forest department will send the antler for DNA fingerprinting at Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology for determining the species.

Meanwhile, the Manorama News had reported about a possible foul play in connection with the seizure of drugs worth Rs 11 crore from a flat in Kochi.

In a joint operation, the Enforcement and Customs Preventive had seized the drugs and tweeted the arrest of seven persons, including five men and two women. However, the news report states that in addition to not mentioning the antler in its FIR, the excise had also failed to register the arrest of two persons.

According to the report, the excise has only mentioned the seizure of 84 grams of MDMA (a psychotropic drug) even though another 1 kg was later found stashed at the location.

Excise Minister MV Govindan told Manorama News that he has instructed the Excise Commissioner to launch an enquiry and has vowed to take action against those found guilty of conspiracy.

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