Hyderabad: Telangana forest officials (TFOs) have arrested four persons for selling rare Sand Boa Snake.
Officials have seized Red Sand Boa Snake, Volks wagon car, Honda Activa scooter, and four mobile phones from their possession.
The arrested men have been identified as S Rohith, Venkataramana, Sridhar, and Anjaneya Prasad. They were produced before the Judicial First Class Magistrate at Medchal who has sent them to 14 days of judicial remand, a forest release here said on Wednesday.
"On credible information that Rohith, a resident of Hyderabad is involved in the illegal trade of sand boa snake, the vigilance wing started an investigation. A decoy operation was launched by Vigilance District Forest Officer (DFO) D Sudhakar Reddy. He introduced himself as an interested buyer of Sand Boa," the forest department said in a statement.
Earlier, DFO and the Anti-Poaching Squad had tried to nab Rohith red-handed with the Sand Boa Snake. But he failed to produce the Snake. However, the DFO was in continuous communication with Rohith. On Tuesday, Rohith promised the DFO that he would show the Sand Boa Snake and quoted a price of Rs 70 lakh.
He sent a message to the DFO to meet him at ECIL with money. The DFO formed two teams consisting of Vigilance and Anti- Poaching officials. The DFO was asked to reach Nagaram where Rohith introduced three Venkataramana, Sridhar, and Anjaneya Prasad to him. They led DFO to the house of Anjaneya Prasad at Nagaram.
While showing the Sand Boa Snake, the DFO gave a signal to the two teams to move in on the scene of the offense. Teams raided the house where they found the Sand Boa Snake. All four persons were taken into custody.
During questioning, Venkataramana revealed that he found Red Sand Boa Snake on a road near Ghatkesar and captured it with the intention of selling it for a few lakh of rupees.
He said that he tried to sell the Snake through his friend Sridhar. Rohith who was in touch with many Sand Boa Snake sellers contacted Sridhar and by involving Anjaneya Prasad. They were trying to sell the sand boa Snake at a price of Rs.70 lakh.