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.
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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