Pakistan Wildlife Officials Seize 'Kaptaan Special' Snakeskin Sandals Meant for PM Imran Khan
The sandals have been sent to a lab for proper verification and further action would be taken after receiving the report.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. (AP)
Peshawar: A famous Pakistani shoe-maker, who was apparently making special sandals for Prime Minister Imran Khan from snakeskin, is in trouble for violating the country's Wildlife Act.
Officials from Wildlife Department in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa raided the shop of the popular shoe-maker Nooruddin Chacha in Jehangir Pura Bazar in interior Peshawar City and confiscated two pairs of snakeskin sandals famous as 'Kaptaan special chappals' being made as Eid gift for Prime Minister Khan. They also arrested a salesman from the shop.
District Forest Officer (DFP) Abdul Haleem Marwat informed that he went to the shop of Nooruddin as a customer and asked for a sandal from the salesman. He was shown a sandal priced at Rs 40,000. When asked as to why it is so expensive, the salesman replied that it has been made of snakeskin and will be gifted to the cricketer-turned-politician Khan, known as 'Kaptaan'.
After verification, the sandals were seized and the salesman was arrested.
The sandals have been sent to a lab for proper verification and further action would be taken after receiving the report, the officer said.
The shoe-maker claimed that the serpentine material had been sent from the US to the shop to craft two pairs, one for the donor and one for Prime Minister Khan to slip on.
The sale and purchase of snakeskin is illegal under Pakistan's Wildlife Act, 2015. According to the Act, no one is allowed to possess any wild or exotic animal (dead or alive) without a valid certificate or licence.
In 2015, the traditional Peshawari chappal or sandal was launched by Nooruddin as Kaptaan Chappal.
"The special double-soled Peshawari chappal had been in fashion since long but when I gifted a pair of this especially designed new brand to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader Imran Khan on his wedding, the shoe became an instant favourite with all and sundry, Nooruddin had told Dawn back then.
He had said that soon after, several ministers and Pashtun population in the Gulf states began placing orders for Kaptaan Chappal in large numbers.
Minister for Environment Ishtiaq Urmur said making sandals from snakeskin was illegal.
"No matter who the sandals were being made for, an illegal act would never be tolerated. If it is proven that the sandals were indeed made of snakeskin then the cobbler will have to face legal consequences as well as a fine provided he shows necessary documentation that it was (legally) imported, he said.
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