A Bengaluru man has been on the run after trying to extort Rs 15 lakh from a pet shop by threatening to have the shop raided by wildlife officials over fake claims of sale of illegal animals.
The incident occurred in Bengaluru when a middle-aged man appeared in a pet shop named 'Bloo Aqua Studio' and made routine inquiries about fish tanks. Innocuous enough at first, the man soon began to depict suspicious behavior.
As per a report in The News Minute, the man soon started asking questions about how he could purchase chorals. When the store owner, Kavita Nandakumar, told the man that they did not sell coral which was endangered and illegal to sell, the man pointed at a fake plastic coral that was on display.
Upon being told that the coral was indeed fake, the man refused to believe it and threatened to get the pet shop raided by wildlife authorities In exchange for his silence, the man demanded a ransom of Rs 15 lakh or he would
When the store refused to comply, the man indeed called the forest officials who reached the store next day. As per reports, officials confirmed that the coral was indeed ornamental and not real.
Though the shop owners are not pressing any charges, the man has remained missing since the raid. He had accompanied the officials on the raid but disappeared from outside the store while the officials were inspecting. The man also claimed to be a member of Wilf Eye India, a fictitious group that claims to carry out raids against animal abuses.
A police complaint has been filed and cops are on the lookout for the man.
Sale of live coral is banned across all states in India under the Wildlife Protection Act.