UP STF arrests 4 members of international wildlife smuggling gang
The Uttar Pradesh Police Special Task Force has arrested four people allegedly belonging to an international wildlife smuggling gang and seized a rare Red Sand Boa snake from their possession, a statement said on Tuesday.
The snake was being taken to Nepal from Gorakhpur, it said.
The accused -- Rama Shankar, Om Prakash Singh, Raja Ram and Saifuddin -- were arrested from the Shahpur area in Gorakhpur district, the statement said.
During interrogation, Shankar told the STF that he was given Rs 20 lakh by gang members Shailendra Yadav, Imran Khan and Arun Singh and asked to go to Chennai to get the snake, it said.
He brought the reptile to Gorakhpur from where it was to be taken to Nepal, the statement said.
The accused told police that on several occasions in the past, he had brought snakes to Gorakhpur which were then taken to China via Nepal, officials said.
The seized snake has been handed over to the forest department and the accused have been booked under relevant sections of the IPC and the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, the STF said. STF officials said the Red Sand Boa belongs to a rare species of non-venomous snakes. It is used in making medicines, purses, cosmetic items, treatment of cancer, intoxicants and expensive perfumes.
The snake's demand is higher in foreign countries than in India, especially in China and Gulf countries, they added.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)