Mumbai, Nov. 18 -- In a first in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) and Maharashtra forest department on Sunday arrested two men from Jalna for illegal possession of 930 pieces of corals, which are worth Rs.50,000 in the Indian market. Sanjay Jugraji Duggad, 51, and Sanjay Vishnu Nikalaje, 38, had brought the protected marine species to MMR for sale.

WCCB said they identified the species as black corals (Antipatharians), which are deep sea corals used to make jewellery, medicines, decorative items, and even used in vastu beliefs (material peace).

Based on the images shared by HT with the Zoological Survey of India and Tuticorin-based Sugandhi Devadasan Marine Research Institute, both institutes ...