Mumbai: Man held for trying to sell red sand boa

The accused had brought the snake in his backpack for sale from Jogeshwari to Reay Road

The rescued red sand boa and the accused, Vipul Joshi
The rescued red sand boa and the accused

In less than a month, Crime Branch officials have rescued another red sand boa from sale. A 25-year-old had brought the snake in his backpack from Jogeshwari to Reay Road, to be sold on the occasion of Badi Raat. The snake is used by tantriks and Godmen for black magic. The Property Cell of the Mumbai Crime Branch got a tip-off that a person was to bring the snake to sell at Reay Road. Crime Branch officials laid a trap near Reay Road railway station on Thursday around 11 pm.

Vipul Joshi
Vipul Joshi

Kept in backpack
Police spotted a man in his 20s, with a backpack roaming suspiciously. When questioned, he started giving vague answers. "When we saw the suspect, he was carrying a backpack, not a bag or container. When we asked him to open his bag, we found the snake in it," said an officer from the Crime Branch.

The snake is 3 feet and 7 inches long. "We arrested the man, Vipul Joshi, a Jogeshwari resident. He confessed to bringing the snake for sale," said another officer. "Joshi is a driver by profession and drives a fleet cab. He comes from a modest family, without any history of crime," the officer added.

Sale on Badi Raat
According to sources, Joshi had brought the snake from Ahmednagar few days ago, and was going to cut a deal on Badi Raat. The police are verifying his contact details, to establish with whom he was working, and to whom he was going to hand over the snake. "Come what may, no common man carries a snake in his backpack. As Joshi was carrying the snake in his backpack, he must be knowing that it was non-venomous," said an officer.

"We suspect he must have handled the snake previously. We also have to check his links with other people," the officer added. On April 25, the Property Cell had arrested 5 persons for allegedly selling the same kind of snake.

Rs 25 lakh
The price of the snake

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