The Navghar police arrested 2 suspected poachers who were carrying leopard skin, which is expected to be worth around Rs. 10 lakh ($14,000 USD) in Bhayandar, Maharashtra, on Tuesday afternoon.
The police identified the 2 men as 24-year-old Ankit Jayesh Thorat and 25-year-old Ravindra Vasant Patel, who are both residents of a village in Silvasa.
The 2 men were booked under sections 9, 39, 48(A), 49 and 51 of the Wild Life (Protection) Act of 1972.
The arrests were made after the police were informed about poachers bringing leopard skin.
A team led by Sampatrao Patil, a police inspector, laid a trap and apprehended the 2 men near the Golden Nest Circle in Bhayandar east at around 3 pm on Tuesday.
The team was under the instructions of SP Dr. Shivaji Rathod and SDPO Shashikant Bhosale.
Authorities stopped the 2 men, and upon inspecting them, inspectors found a leopard skin, which has a street value of nearly Rs. 10 lakh, inside their bag.
The skin was seized and the duo was taken to the police station.
The police are now trying to track down the buyer of the leopard skin, and are trying to find out if the 2 arrested men are part of an animal poaching group in India.
Leopards are protected under the Wildlife Act of India, and they are considered as endangered species.
Possession of its skin and trading is illegal in India, and anyone found guilty in selling it can face 7 years of prison and heavy fines.