Jamshedpur: A woman travelling with pythons, rare species of snakes, chameleons etc worth more than Rs 50 crore was arrested from the general compartment of Nilanchal Express at Tatanagar station in Jharkhand.
The arrest was made by a joint team of Railway Protection Force (RPF), Government Railway Police (GRP) and Crime Intelligence Branch (CIB).
The seized animals will be handed over to the Forest department. The accused has been identified as Devi Chandra, hailing from Pune, said RPF in-charge S.K. Tiwari.
He received information from Kharagpur Railway Division about a suspicious woman travelling in the general compartment of Nilanchal Express.
Tiwari added that the woman was identified and searched as soon as the train reached Tatanagar station. The team recovered a total of 28 snakes from the bag besides chameleons, spiders etc.
During interrogation, the woman revealed that a person in Nagaland had given her the bag to deliver to Delhi in exchange of Rs 8,000. She reached Gauhati by train from Nagaland and then reached Howrah, from where she took a train to Delhi.
She added that she was in touch with the person who gave her the bag. Raids are being conducted to arrest the said accused.
The RPF called snake catchers to take the reptiles out of the bag. Two Sand Boas and an Albino Python worth Rs 25 crore each were rescued. Apart from these, 19 ball pythons and four red pythons were found in nine boxes, added Tiwari.
Twelve chameleons, beetles, and spiders were found in another box. Of these, one snake and eight chameleons were found dead. The venom of these creatures is used in making intoxicants, said Tiwari.
RPF in-charge SK Tiwari, SI Anjum Nisha, ASI Balbir Prasad from Flying Squad, Ajay Gupta from CIB besides others comprised the team of officials involved in the arrest.