Frauds try to pass off ‘dog’ skins as tigers’

Frauds try to pass off ‘dog’ skins as tigers’

Police to have two ‘tiger skins’ recovered from two youth checked at Sanjay Gandhi National Park

By Vinay Dalvi
Posted On Monday, September 07, 2009

The Amboli police on Sunday arrested who they thought were two youth involved in illegally selling tiger skins. However, on close inspection of the seized goods – one deer skin and two ‘tiger skins’ –they found the culprits may also have been racketeers.

Acting on a tip-off, the police arrested two persons – Rahul Bhosale, 20, and Naseer Chauhan, 22 – from Veera Desai Road in Andheri.

After the arrest, as police examined the tiger skins, they found that one appeared to have been coloured and was, in all likelihood, a fake.

“The skins appear to be of dogs, and have been coloured by the two accused. They must have been conning people and taking huge amounts of money by passing them off as tiger skins,” said an officer who is part of the investigations.

No official tests could be conducted as it was the weekend, but police will now send the skins to Sanjay Gandhi National Park to verify what animal they belong to.

Senior Police Inspector Kailash Ghamande said the boys claim the skin was given to them by a certain Sumitra, who asked them to sell them Rs 80,000 each. “We are trying to find out whether such a person exists. Another aspect we must look into is whether the accused were involved in hunting or only sold the skins,” he revealed.

Another officer said they were also trying to determine whether the duo have sold such skins to anybody in the city before.

Meanwhile, the two have been remanded in police custody by a holiday court for one day.

Earlier the Azad Maidan police had arrested a 17-year-old boy with a panther skin and four deer skins. Police are now investigating the possibility of a gang involved in selling animal skins in the city.

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