A Russell's viper, which was found with the men who were arrested. Photo: iStock

A gang suspected of selling snake venom in multiple states in India was caught by forest officers on New Year’s Eve. Four people were arrested in Sabarkantha, Gujarat, after forest officers conducted searches and found bags containing two live spectacled cobras and a dead Russell’s viper, the Times of India reported.

Yogesh Desai, the assistant conservator of forests, said authorities suspect the gang had links to other states. Desai added that the four arrested had allegedly violated schedule 2 of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, which includes the cobra and Russell’s viper.

After being questioned, police said the men confessed that the contraband was to be sold in Mumbai for a large sum of money. Many people have controversially been using snake venom to get high.

In a previous media report, two men in India checked in for rehab after they had been using cobra venom to get high, which caught the attention of numerous medical professionals who conducted research on such cases.

Read: Men getting high from cobra venom in India

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