Mumbai

Seven arrested for smuggling Pangolin

The Pangolin was found in an unco

The Pangolin was found in an unco  

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Second such incident in a week; police suspect source of mammal to be same

In the second such incident this week, the police have rescued an Indian Pangolin and arrested seven men. According to the police, while two men came in an ambulance from Pune to sell the mammal, five men, who were in a car, had come to buy it. The deal was struck for ₹40 lakh.

The men who travelled in the ambulance were found to be in possession of the mammal, weighing 7 kg and 790 gm, by the Kalamboli police.

The accused have been identified as Ramesh Date (38), Sunil Date (42) and Mukesh Mohite from Pune, Umesh Pawar (32), Pandurang Chavan (35) and Vijay More from Ratnagiri and Bhagwan Mane (22) from Mahabaleshwar.

The police had received a tip-off that some men travelling from Pune in an ambulance were smuggling a Pangolin. “We learnt that they will be coming to Kalamboli on Thursday and accordingly laid a trap on Panvel-Mumbra road. We intercepted the vehicles when they reached the bus stop near Kalamboli traffic office,” senior police inspector Satish Gaikwad said. While two men were in the ambulance, five were found in the car. The police found a jute sack inside the ambulance which contained a steel barrel wrapped in a blanket. “Upon opening the barrel, we found an unconscious Pangolin inside it. The mammal was handed over to forest officers,” Mr. Gaikwad said.

The mammal is smuggled for superstitious reasons. People believe that keeping it at home brings prosperity. The accused have revealed that they had got the mammal from an Adivasi in Ratnagiri.

On Tuesday, the Khandeshwar police had arrested a 28-year-old youth, who had come from Khed in Ratnagiri district, to sell another Indian Pangolin. He was caught red-handed in possession of the mammal weighing 7 kg and 360 gm. “In both the cases, the source of the mammal seems to be same and we are trying to reach it,” Mr. Gaikwad said.

The accused were arrested under the Wildlife Protection Act for smuggling an endangered species and are in police custody till Sunday.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 12:26:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/seven-arrested-for-smuggling-pangolin/article30546744.ece

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