Sahakarnagar police station officials arrested two men on Sunday evening for possessing a leopard skin worth Rs 8 lakh. The duo was identified as Mani Mahadev Yashwant alias Sachin (28) and Prakash Dorai Swamy (28). While Yashwant hails from Kolhapur, Swamy is from Tamil Nadu.
The two were booked under various sections of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and were remanded in police custody for the next four days by the Judicial Magistrate (First Class).
Acting on a tip-off, a team comprising Inspector Kamlakar Takawale and Rajendra Todkar, Assistant Inspector Suraj Patil, Constable Narendra Parkhi and others, apprehended the duo at Teen Hatti chowk in Dhankawadi.
Yashwant and Swamy had come in an auto, and had a white sack on them. Upon searching, the leopard skin was recovered from the sack.
API Patil said, “The arrested duo has no past criminal record. They were handed the skin by unidentified persons, whom we suspect have links with poachers.
Our team is going to Kolhapur and nearby areas, where these poachers are believed to operating from. We are trying to bust the syndicate. We are also looking for those who were supposed to purchase the skin from the duo. Though we have identified the buyers, they have gone into hiding after our action against Yashwant and Swamy.”