The tiger skin’s authenticity was verified with the help of the forest officials.
Mumbai: The Thane crime branch arrested a man with a tiger skin, worth around Rs 10 lakh, when he had come to sell it. The accused is a native of Kolhapur. The unit I of crime branch is now in the process of ascertaining the source of it.
The arrested accused was identified as Shashikant Dandawate (44), who was found to be in the possession of the tiger skin, which initially looked fake. The officials spotted the accused carrying a black backpack in which the tiger skin was kept.
“We laid a trap near a hotel at Y-circle in Mumbra where he was set to come. He revealed that he was set to sell the tiger skin at Rs 10 lakh to a person, whose identity is yet to be established,” said an officer of Thane crime branch.
The tiger skin’s authenticity was verified with the help of the forest officials, who confirmed that the skin was real. The police are in the process of identifying the source of the skin from the accused.
A case has been filed under sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Wildlife Protection Act and further investigation is underway.
In June 2019, Forest department had seized leopard skin worth Rs 20 lakh and arrested four accused for smuggling of leopard skin in Sanjay Gandhi National Park’s (SGNP) Yeoor range.
The officials deployed at Yeoor forest area got the tip-off about miscreants possessing the leopard skin, making their way to Thane.
An official from the Thane Forest Department had said, “We got the information that four smugglers are on their way here to sell the illegally possessed leopard skin. We planned accordingly and as soon as their car reached on Yeoor gate in Thane, we arrested them.”