Maharashtra: Sand boa snake seized, two booked

A sand boa snake, an endangered species worth at least a few lakh rupees in the international smuggling market, was seized from two persons in Aurangabad city of Maharashtra, police said on Friday.

The MIDC CIDCO police seized the snake on Thursday from the duo, who planned to sell it.

Sand boas, which are non-venomous, are in huge demand in the international market as they are used for making certain medicines, cosmetics and in black magic. They are also believed to bring good luck and wealth.

"Police had received a tip-off that a sand boa snake was being carried in a vehicle. After being alerted, police stopped a car near Kalagram area in Aurangabad around 3.30 pm and during a search, found a snake kept inside," an official said.

"The snake was seized and an offence was registered against the two occupants of the car. Police also seized their vehicle worth around Rs 3.50 lakh," he added.

The accused have been identified as Manik Bhosale (36) and Adinath Kakde (30). They have been booked under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and IPC section 34 (common intention), the official told.

The snake was later handed over to the forest department, he said.

When contacted, environmentalist Dr Kishor Pathak said that although this species is not rare, it is sold with a blind faith that it would help in finding buried treasures.

"The cost of this snake is usually based on its weight and sometimes it runs into several lakhs of rupees. But possession of this snake is illegal," he added.

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