Mumbai News: Forest Dept & RPF Bust Gang Involved In Illegal Chameleon Smuggling In Titwala; 1 Held |
Mumbai: In a joint effort, the Forest Department and the Railway Protection Force (RPF) apprehended individuals involved in an illegal chameleon smuggling operation at Titwala station. The operation, which took place on July 8th at approximately 10:20 pm, resulted in the disruption of a significant wildlife trafficking ring.
The incident unfolded when RPF Head Constable R.P. Pandey noticed a heated argument near the booking office of Titwala station. Upon further investigation, Head Constable Pandey discovered three individuals engaged in a dispute. It was revealed that the individuals, identified as J.S. Shinde and S.S. Sawarde, were employees of the Forest Department who had received confidential information about a chameleon sale taking place at the location.
Accused Caught Red Handed During Sale Of Chameleon
Acting swiftly on the tip-off, the Forest Department employees conducted a raid in Titwala East, where they apprehended an individual involved in a transaction worth Rs 6,000, selling a chameleon to another individual. Subsequently, another person in possession of a green chameleon was also apprehended during the searches and interrogations.
Assistant Sub-Inspector RPF Anoop Sharma and Head Constable Rampach Pandey played a crucial role in assisting the operation and safely transporting the arrested individuals to the Titwala RPF Post. The Forest Department employees filed a written application, stating their intention to take the apprehended individuals to their office in the Kalyan Forest Department.
The arrested individual, identified as Devendra Bhoir, is a resident of Titwala. The collaborative efforts of the Forest Department and the RPF have successfully dismantled an illegal chameleon smuggling ring, delivering a strong message against wildlife trafficking.
High Demand Of Indian Chameleons In Black Market
Chameleons native to India hold high value in the black market, sought after for their exotic nature as pets. They are also smuggled out of the country to be bred in captivity and sold in international markets. However, Indian Chameleons are protected under the International Trade in Endangered Species Act and Scheduled II of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.