MAPUSA: The main accused in the interstate poaching racket, Santosh Dhuri, 38, was arrested by officials of the Pernem forest department at Kalne, Dodamarg, in Maharashtra.
He has been accused of poaching a deer after over 30kg of meat suspected to be venison was seized by forest officials after intercepting a vehicle on the Agarwada-Chopdem bridge on Monday. The occupants of the car — Amol Naik, Ashish Bandekar & Shantaram Naik— all residents of Tuem in Pernem, were arrested, the meat seized & car detained.
On searching the car, forest officials had found alleged deer meat packed in 23 different bags of 1.2kg each. A limb of a deer weighing around 8kg was also found in the vehicle.
After the interrogation of the alleged accused, it was revealed that those caught had bought the meat from Dhuri. Forest officials also seized a gun, one live bullet, one empty bullet & a knife allegedly used for poaching.
Forest officials recovered the head of deer from the place where the poaching took place, sources said. Accused Santosh, Amol, Ashish & Shantaram have been released on conditional bail after being produced before the Pernem court.
Sources said that poaching takes places using snares & guns in parts of neighboring Maharashtra, & since Goa is a tourist state, there is a demand for wild animal meat. So it is transported & sold to Goan customers.