‘Himalayan Viagra’ worth Rs 50 lakh seized in Ramnagar, one person arrested | dehradun | Hindustan Times
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‘Himalayan Viagra’ worth Rs 50 lakh seized in Ramnagar, one person arrested

dehradun Updated: Oct 27, 2016 00:19 IST
Nihi Sharma
Nihi Sharma
Hindustan Times
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Yarsagumba, which looks like dried weed and is found in the Himalayan region, has a huge demand in China and Korea where it is used in pharmaceutical companies for manufacturing energy booster drugs.(Arvind-Moudgil/ HT File Photo)

The Corbett Tiger Reserve’s special operation group along with police arrested a Ramnagar resident and seized from him 2.3 kg of Himalayan Viagra, a unique caterpillar fungus locally known as Yarsagumba, officials said on Wednesday.

Acting on a tip-off, the joint team raided Kosi Barrage that connects Ramnagar with Haldwani and seized the aphrodisiac worth Rs 50 lakh in international market. The team arrested 35-year-old Bulemoore from the spot. Corbett reserve special operation group in-charge Sanjay Pandey said Yarsagumba is not found in Nainital district. “But, it was smuggled from remote districts. We are still investigating about its whereabouts.”

Yarsagumba, which looks like dried weed and is found in the Himalayan region, has a huge demand in China and Korea where it is used in pharmaceutical companies for manufacturing energy booster drugs. The fungus is generally found in Chamoli and Pithoragarh districts.

The Uttarakhand Forest Development Corporation (UAFDC) markets the fungus but without any clear policy, which the experts said is one of the reasons behind smuggling.

The corporation buys fungus for Rs 50,000 per kg from locals and keeps 5% of it as royalty. Contrarily, locals get almost Rs 10 lakh for a kg from traders of New Delhi and Nepal. The huge difference in price offered by the corporation versus traders plays a key role in the smuggling racket.

“Why will farmers sell Yarsagumba to the corporation at such a low rate when they can get 15 times higher value in the open market?” said Harish Dhami, UAFDC chairman, who has demanded a comprehensive policy on Yarsagumba.

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