The Roorkee police arrested three people on charges of smuggling a rare ‘two-headed’ snake and carrying Rs17.5 lakh cash. The snake was captured in Haryana and was being smuggled to Roorkee to be delivered in Delhi, the police said.
Three people belonging to Faridabad, Saharanpur and Roorkee were arrested on Thursday while three others from Delhi, Haryana and Roorkee escaped. The police have lodged a case against the six accused under the Wildlife Protection Act of India, 1972.
“The snake was captured in Haryana from where it was brought to Roorkee. Two local accused had finalised the deal with buyers from Delhi for Rs30lakh. We recovered the snake and Rs17.5 cash from the accused,” BD Uniyal, inspector Civil Lines police station in Roorkee, told Hindustan Times on Friday.
Experts say the two-headed snake specie exhibits a polycephalys condition because of which it has two heads.
Forest official Sanatram said the two headed snake was believed to have aphrodisiac qualities and therefore was smuggled across Indian borders to reach China and Thailand. “It is used in making traditional Chinese medicines,” the official said.
According to sources in the forest department, the cost of the specie in the Indian market is between Rs10 lakh and Rs40 lakh. However, this cost doubles in the international market.
“During the monsoon season, snakes come out of hibernation and it becomes easier to catch them,” said Abhishekh Kumar of Effect NGO.