Pune City Police on Wednesday arrested two persons in possession of a Red Sand Boa snake. The accused have been identified as Mahesh Bhimaji Thorat (29), a resident of Purandar, and Chandrakant Kashinath Deshmukh (50), a resident of Ahmednagar.
Acting on a tip-off to Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) Bachchan Singh, a Crime Branch team laid a trap and nabbed the two accused near Jail Road Press Colony in Yerwada.
During searches, a 44-inch-long Red Sand Boa snake weighing about 3 kg and estimated to cost Rs 22 lakh, was recovered from the accused, said police.
An offence was lodged at Yerwada police station. Police said the snake was handed over to officials of the Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park, Katraj.
Probe was on to know how the two accused procured the snake and to whom they were planning to sell it, said police.
Red Sand Boa (Eryx johnii) is a non-venomous snake, which is protected under Schedule IV of the Wild Life Protection Act 1972.
Sand boas are considered “lucky” because of the superstition that the snakes have supernatural power.
In June last year, two persons were arrested for illegal possession of a sand boa snake in Pune. Probe revealed that the accused procured the snake from rural parts of Amravati district and then came to Pune, where they were looking for a customer for the serpent.
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