Pune, Sep 16 (PTI) At least eight persons have been arrested for alleged possession and smuggling of skins of two leopards and a tiger in Maharashtra’s Pune district, an official said on Thursday.

Acting on a tip-off, forest officials conducted a joint operation with the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) in Warje area, the official said.

"A trap was laid on Tuesday and three people were arrested with the skin of a leopard. During the probe, the suspects revealed that two more skins were being sold," deputy conservator of forest (Pune division) Rahul Patil said.

Based on the information, five other accused were apprehended in Saswad while they were trying to sell skins of a leopard and a tiger on Wednesday, he said.

The accused have been arrested under the relevant sections of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, the official added.