Bengaluru: Three middlemen have been arrested in the city for attempting to sell deer antlers or horns procured from unknown forest sources at Rs 5 lakh, an official said on Friday.
“We have arrested Sundaresh, Manjunath and Raghavendra for attempting to sell two deer antlers,” said Central Crime Branch (CCB) Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Kuldeep Jain to IANS.
“To lure the customers, the accused made a video about the antlers and told stories that grinding a small part of the antler into power and drinking with water will heal some ailment or their mere presence would bring luck and so on,” said Jain.
A case has been registered against all the three under the Wildlife Act and the accused will be handed over to the forest department.
It is clearly not known from whom the accused procured the antlers as they are claiming that they received them from some forest sources.
Police got a tip-off that the three was trying to sell the antlers to a prospective buyer in Yeshwantpur area in the city.
Both the deer horns, one of which is a complete set with both the horns and another one a smaller one, were being quoted a price of Rs 5 lakh and weighing approximately 2 kg.
The bigger horn weighed 1.3 kg and the smaller one 270gm.
Though the police would also want to contact the buyers, the DCP said it may not be easy because all of them would have backed off after the three arrests.
The police is not sure which part of Karnataka forests these antlers would have come from. Jain said the forest department may know a thing or two about such intricacies.
“The antlers have already changed several hands and were in the penultimate hands of the middlemen before being passed on to a buyer,” pointed out Jain.
Police seized a Toyota Innova and three mobile phones from the wildlife offenders.