Sources have revealed that poachers from Uttara Kannada districts who were trying to sell a leopard skin that was supposedly hunted three years ago from Dandeli Forest Range were finally caught last evening.

According to officials, the accused Kumar, Prasad Bhatt from Uttara Kannada and Athiq from Mysuru tried getting in touch with agents, brokers and potential buyers in Bengaluru. On receiving information from their network, the CID Forest Cell swooped in on the opportunity and laid a trap.

One among the accused came to Bengaluru to discuss the terms of purchase. At that time, as the police did not have any evidence, they could not make any arrests. The accused were taken into confidence and the officers posing as buyers said that they will tender the money only after seeing the skin.

"Following the conversation, the CID team along with their informants travelled to Yellapur in Karwar. As soon as the accused came on two motorbikes along with a gunny bag carrying the leopard pelt, the other team members jumped in and arrested the accused. The accused were handed over to Assistant Conservator of Forests, Yellapur and a case under the Wildlife Protection Act has been registered."  said MS Ramamurthy, sub-inspector, CID Forest Cell, Bengaluru.

The raid was conducted under the guidance of CID Forest Cell Bengaluru Deputy Superintendent of Police, HK Ravikumar.