Pune police arrested two persons and seized about 500 ml of alleged snake venom estimated to be worth Rs 1 crore Wednesday. The suspects have been identified as Sakharam Rambhau Khiste (29) and Datta Balasaheb Rasve (23),both residents of Majalgaon in Beed district.
Policeman Sunil Pawar of Faraskhana station received information from his sources that two persons would be coming near Hotel Yojana in Kasba Peth to sell the snake venom around 4 pm. After the information was passed on to senior inspector Bhanupratap Barge,a decoy customer was sent to the hotel to buy the venom.
A police team led by assistant inspector Geeta Bagawde laid a trap and arrested the two suspects under sections of the Wild Life Protection Act. Both the suspects are truck drivers. They said that one person handed the snake venom to them saying it is being used by scientists. The duo were then asked to come near Hotel Yojana and told that someone would come and buy the venom. Investigation are on to know who handed them the venom. The seized venom will be sent to a forensic science lab for tests. We are probing if there are more persons involved in the racket, said assistant inspector Bagawde.
There are increasing incidents of snake venom seizures across India. Investigators suspect snake venom,extracted from cobra snakes,is being consumed in high profile parties. In June,Lonavala police had busted a gang involved in the snake venom trade.