April 14, 2013 2:02:48 am
A youth from Belgaum on the Maharashtra-Karnataka border was arrested Saturday for illegal possession of leopard skin. The suspect,Pravin alias Pavya Manohar Patil (22),was nabbed at Ganesh Peth Friday after police got a tip-off.
Police recovered a black handbag from Patil in which he brought the leopard hide. Patil was arrested under of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972.
The leopard skin,6 ft 4 inch long and 1ft 2 inch in width costs around Rs 9 lakh,police said. Patil got the leopard hide from aide Pradip Punekar,also a resident of Belgaum.
Patil has confessed that after having suffered huge losses in the share market,he agreed to be part of this racket to earn quick money.
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Police suspect Patil wanted to sell the leopard hide to someone in Pune. Police will send the seized leopard hide to the Zoological Survey of India lab for tests.
Prima-facie the seized leopard skin is original. We have launched a search for Punekar. Investigation is on to know from where and how the suspects got the leopard skin and the person who wanted to buy it in Pune. There is a possibility of an organised racket behind the smuggling, said assistant inspector Bagawde.
Patil was produced before a magistrate court Saturday. The court remanded him in police custody till April 17.
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