Bhubaneswar: An alleged nexus between pangolin smuggling and some top bureaucrats in Odisha has come to the fore with the arrest of another mastermind of the racket in Bhubaneswar.
According to Athagarh Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Sasmita Lenka, Nilakantha Nayak alias Nila Bhai was arrested from a house at Unit-6 area here on Wednesday afternoon.
The DFO said Nayak, a close associate of Ali, the kingpin of the racket, worked as a broker in the Forest Department and the Lok Seva Bhawan.
Though the DFO refused to divulge further details, some officials of the Forest Department, on condition of anonymity, said that Ali had hinted at Nilakantha’s close link with some senior officials during his interrogation.
The department is planning to again bring Ali and his two associates on a remand for interrogation in presence of Nilakantha to elicit more details on their modus operandi, the officials added.