PATNA: Three persons were arrested for smuggling cobra venom worth Rs 12 crore along the porous Indo-Nepal border on Thursday.
A team of SSB jawans during border patrolling in Bihar’s Araria district on Thursday stumbled upon an illegal consignment of venom of cobra-snakes in two jars (lead pots) for sale at the international pharmaceutical markets at exorbitant prices.
Acting on a tip-off, the SSB jawans carried a combing operation and recovered the venom allegedly being brought from Pirganj village in Araria.
The recovered venom was handed over to the forest officials for the safe custody, as per the rule.
Sources said that around 1.8 kg venom was in the first jar while 1.73 kg in the second jar and collected from snake-catchers active along with the Bihar-Bengal border forest areas.
The venom is extracted from cobras purportedly for pharmaceutical companies making medicines for breaking up blood clots or other life-saving anti-venom drugs.
In the international market, one gallon of cobra venom fetches at least USD 153,000, owing to the presence of a protein called Ohanin that is often used in the treatment of chronic pain.
In 2017, for the first time in Bihar, the directorate of Revenue Intelligence had seized 1kg cobra venom being smuggled to France from India.