The state forest department arrested three men for allegedly smuggling two crocodile hatchlings into the northern suburb of Mumbai-Borivali on Tuesday.
Acting on a tip-off, a forest team flagged down a tourist bus coming from Hyderabad Monday. Officials said the team found two crocodile hatchlings on conducting a search. The accused were identified as Abdul Raheem Hafiz (33), the bus driver, and Kuddus Latif Beig (28) and Chhatrapati alias Shivaji Balaya (28).
A case was registered under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, and a further probe into the network, including the smuggling route and final recipient, is underway, an official said.
Crocodiles are included under Schedule I of the Act, which ensures maximum legal protection for wild animals.