Thane: Quartet held for wanting to sell endangered primate

Thane Crime Branch officials nab the accused from Kapurbawdi, recover four Slender Loris worth Rs 70 lakh

Acting on a tip-off that a gang of sellers would be visiting Kapurbawdi to sell a protected species of primates, officials from the Thane Crime Branch laid a trap and arrested a quartet on last Thursday around 10.30 am.

Two of the four Slender Loris (circled) rescued by the Thane Crime Branch
Two of the four Slender Loris (circled) rescued by the Thane Crime Branch 

The cops rescued four Slender Loris worth Rs 70 lakh from their possession.

The arrested quartet was identified as Viju Varghese Chako (35), from Kasarwadi gaav; Nagraj Rajviraya Gujja (56), from Padmanagar in Bhiwandi; Rajendra Balvant Vighate (39), a Badlapur resident and Vinod Krushna Sutar (31) from Kolhapur. While Chako originally hails from Kerala, Gujja’s hometown can be located in Telangana. All four were booked under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

Cop speak
Senior Inspector Devidas Gheware from Central Crime Detection unit said, “Vinod is the one who got the primates from Karnataka. All four are friends. Loris is a protected species and is found in parts of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka. It is an endangered species and protected by law. Those practicing witchcraft and black magic use these animals, while some believe the animal has medicinal properties.”

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