Forest officials seize black coral, animal parts

India: In a joint operation by Maharashtra Forest Department’s Kalyan Range Forest Office (RFO) team and the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB), Western Region, 250 black coral and 50 Hatha Jodi (penises of monitor lizard) were seized from a commercial shop at a residential building in Kalyan on Saturday.

The forest department officials arrested three in this case under the relevant sections of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

Following the information received by the WCCB team, a trap was laid jointly by Kalyan RFO team and seized 250 black coral (Antipatharians) and Hatha Jodi, which are protected under Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

The three arrested were Geeta Anand Jakhotiya, 47, the resident of the flat, and staff, Navnath Trimbak Ghuge, 30 and Akshay Manohar Deshmukh, 22.

Jakhotiya runs a firm named Shubh Sanket Vastu – a residential, commercial industrial Vastu consultant. She dealt with aroma oil supply, aroma candles, numerology, crystal therapy, tarot cards services.

“We are investigating the case and have arrested the three accused in this matter and produced them in the court and got two days of forest custody,” said RFO, Kalyan, RN Channe.

 “It is learned that Black Coral and Hatha Jodi are being sold for black magic, good luck, wealth, prosperity, ayurvedic medicine, Vastu and as pooja items. This is illegal and a violation of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972,” said Sunish Subramanian Kunju, honorary wildlife warden.