|A husband-and-wife duo caught on camera holding out a musk gland derived from the highly endangered musk deer.|
A recent sting operation in the United Arab Emirates has exposed a gang of poachers from India who are soliciting problematic drugs obtained from the musk deer. The perpetrators insist that their so-called medicine can treat 101 diseases, including cancer. Previously, scores of local residents had purchased these illegal medicines, paying anywhere between Dh4,000 and Dh35,000 for a bottle depending on the malady. In order to penetrate this scheme, an XPRESS team pretending to be customers contacted the gang members based in Abu Dhabi to a house in Sharjah and sought remedies for arthritis and blood pressure. The team was met with a middle-aged couple who introduced themselves as tribal people from the state of Karnataka, presented a business card with local contact information, and provided information about their illicit business and products. These products were musk glands that are only found inside male musk deer. Much of the information the couple provided to the XPRESS team was recorded on tape. In addition, the team came upon another couple from the same gang in Abu Dhabi advertising the drugs to an Indian expatriate who had chronic allergy. The couple then provided the cell phone number to another customer in Abu Dhabi who they indicated has benefited from their remedies.
|Up close of the musk gland.|
It is extremely appalling to see how people in the U.A.E have been "benefiting" from the so-called medicines that are derived from the musk deer which is an endangered species. The peddlers assert that their illicit products work "wonders" in curing a wide range of ailments based on the testimonials of their gullible customers. Furthermore, the poachers do not hold a valid license to sell their products. This means that like any unlicensed medications, the musk gland from a musk deer could possible long-term side effects on the users. This is why it is extremely crucial to target such peddlers selling these unlicensed and potentially life-threatening medications to save the lives of people. In addition, there should be a public awareness program directed at local residents in the U.A.E warning them about the possible dangers exhibited by musk deer glands being sold by door-to-door peddlers and educating them about how they can help authorities foil such schemes and the musk deer from being ruthlessly slaughtered for its gland.
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