Panvel Grameen Police arrested two persons and rescued a sand boa snake from them. They were caught with the snake when they brought it to sell near the Shirdong Toll Plaza along the old Mumbai-Pune highway in Panvel on Sunday.
They claimed that they get a good price as there is a belief that keeping the rare snake at home brings money and prosperity.
The arrested persons are identified as Ajij Nishad Shaikh, 38, and Santosh Dilip Mandale, 33, both are residents of Khopoli in Raigad district.
An on-duty police official of Panvel received information on Sunday that two persons are coming with the rare snake to sell in the Panvel area along the highway. The police called the forest range officers and laid a trap along the highway.
“We had reached the spot around 11.30 am and around 12.45 pm, we noticed two people were walking suspiciously and one of them was holding a plastic bag,” said an official from Panvel Grameen police station. He added that when they were asked what was in the bag, they did not give a coherent reply. “In the presence of two range officials of the forest department, the bag was checked and we found a snake. The range official identified the snake sand boa,” said the official. The snake was 47 inches long and 7 inches thick and the weight was 2.7 kgs.
Later, during interrogation, they said that they have brought the snake to sell as it fetches a good price. There is a belief that keeping the snake at home bring money and prosperity. Later the snake was handed over to the forest department official. A case was registered against them under section 51 and 52 of Wild the Life Protection Act, 1972.