'Wild' bid to make quick buck lands 9 in jail

Inter-state gang held in Tumkur for smuggling tortoise, boa

The gang – six members from Karnataka and three from Andhara Pradesh – were arrested in Tumkur on Tuesday and four double-headed red sand boa and two tortoises were seized from them.

The accused are Krishnappa (41), a real estate agent from Bangalore; Chikkanna (42),  owner of a TVS showroom in Bellur, Hospet taluk; Balakrishna (44) and Suresh (27) both from Bangalore; Murugesh (32), an auto driver in Agrahara Dasarahalli, Bangalore, Suresh (31) from Adigerahalli in Rajarajeshwarinagar; Srinivas Reddy (44), Satyanarayana Reddy and Bimal Kolleri, all realtors from Andhra Pradesh.
Besides, a four-wheeler, six cellphones and articles used for sorcery have also been recovered from the arrested.

Superintendent of Police P S Harsha at a press meet here on Tuesday said that the three men from Andhra Pradesh had allegedly conned the six accused from the State into supplying the red sand boa and tortoise for a worship, which they promised, would fetch quick bucks.

Lured by the offer, the five, with the help of agents in Bagepalli, Gudibande, Chikkaballapur and other places, purchased the animals by shelling out Rs 20 lakh. The desire to make fast money has cost them dearly - their site and jewellery - to raise money for purchase of these animals, the SP said.

However, when their counterparts from Andhra Pradesh failed to keep their promise, Krishnappa and his associates detained them in their custody and demanded Rs 20 lakh for their release.

The district police, acting on the clues provided by Andhra Police, have arrested all the nine accused.

DH News Service

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