Poacher: Is Ravi Don Inspired by a Real Ivory Dealer? Where is He Now?

The investigation into the infamous Malayattoor elephant poaching case in Kerala concluded in 2015, revealing a large-scale racket involving not only local poachers but also prominent dealers and middlemen. The Prime Video series ‘Poacher’ is based on the real-life events associated with the case. The characters in the crime drama were conceived by Richie Mehta, drawing inspiration from the people involved in the investigation. In the series, a key figure in the illicit trade is Ravi Don, who evokes curiosity about his connections to the actual events and individuals in the real world!

Who is Ravi Don?

The character of Ravi Don in ‘Poacher’ is inspired by the real-life figure Eagle Rajan. After the local poachers from Kerala were apprehended, the law enforcement agencies delved into their financial records and call logs, which led them to identify Rajan as a major dealer in the illegal wildlife trade. Following an extensive surveillance operation, it was discovered that Rajan was located in Sharjah, a Middle Eastern city in the United Arab Emirates. The Vigilance head of the Forest Department played a crucial role in his capture since he learned about Rajan’s planned travel from Sharjah to Trivandrum, Kerala, and apprehended him after the journey.

Eagle Rajan was captured at the Trivandrum International Airport, similar to how Ravi gets arrested in an airport in the crime drama. Although his arrival was a day later than anticipated by the police, the successful operation led to his capture. Before his arrest, forest officials had also detained his wife, Mini. During the investigation, Rajan provided crucial information about another major dealer, Umesh Agarwal from Delhi, leading to the recovery of over 400 kg of ivory from the latter’s residence. Additionally, a diary recovered from Rajan contained names of buyers, including prominent industrialists and corporates involved in the illicit ivory trade.

The series has accurately depicted the life and involvement of Rajan through Ravi, making only nominal alterations to his name. Vaisakh Shankar’s portrayal of the menacing figure, who orchestrates the illegal ivory trade and sanctions the killing of elephants, is commendable for its authenticity.

Eagle Rajan Keeps a Low Profile Today

Eagle Rajan was found to be involved in about 13 poaching cases. In 2021, after facing certain obstacles, the High Court of Kerala directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to initiate an inquiry into the suspected individuals whose names surfaced in the 2015 investigation. The court emphasized the significance of Rajan’s diary entries and specifically called for a thorough investigation into the involvement of notable individuals, including a well-known industrialist from Chennai.

The subsequent CBI reports show details of Rajan’s bank accounts and also focus on the different amounts of money that he received from various parties since 1995. The names of his clients were mentioned and a copy of his diary, which contained the contact numbers and addresses of these clients, was attached to the report as well.

Like Umesh Agarwal, Rajan was eventually released from custody. He has kept a low profile ever since his name splashed all over the media in 2015. Nonetheless, his apprehension played a crucial role in unveiling numerous figures involved in the case, immensely helping the authorities to conclude the investigation.

Read More: Poacher: Is Morris Finn Inspired by a Real Ivory Dealer? Where is He Now?