PUNE: The Pune crime branch on Tuesday arrested three persons on Fergusson college Road and seized a leopard skin worth Rs 3 lakh from them.
The police said the suspects Mahendra Shivaji Donhe (25) who lives in Janata Vasahat and Deepak Dhami (29) a resident of Kothrud hailed from Nepal, and Nilesh Eknath Dhadve (24) is from Vadgaon Burdruk. Acting on a tip-off the anti-terrorism cell of the Pune crime branch led by inspector Sunil Tambe laid a trap and nabbed the suspects on Tuesday afternoon.
Tambe said that the skin has been sent to the Zoological Survey of India for further inspection.
"The officials at the Zoological Survey of India told us that the skin was of a four-year-old leopard," Tambe said.
Tambe said that police constable Deepak Mate received a tip-off that three persons from Kothrud area were preparing to sell leopard skin. "We laid a trap and nabbed the three suspects and recovered the leopard skin," he said.
The police suspect that the trio may have brought the skin from Gujarat or Rajasthan. "We are investigating whether they have any previous criminal record," Tambe said.
Tambe said that the suspect Donhe works as a mechanic with a water purifier company, while Dhami works as a salesman in a jewellery shop in Pune. Dhadve works as an estate agent. "A case against them has been registered with the Deccan Gymkhana police station," he added.
The investigating team comprised police constables Appa Gaikwad, Sandip Patil, Ganesh Koli, Sharad Jadhav and Kashinath Kolekar.