Dried lizard penises sold as good luck charms in international fraud racket

People who've ordered a rare Indian root online have instead been sent dried lizard penises.
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People who've ordered a rare Indian root online have instead been sent dried lizard penises.

Wildlife investigators from India and Britain say they have uncovered an international fraud in which dried penises of endangered monitor lizards are being sold as a plant root regarded as a good luck charm and used in religious rituals.

The London-based group World Animal Protection said the dried penises of Bengal monitor lizards and yellow monitor lizards look similar to a rare plant root sought by people who believe it brings good luck.

Wildlife authorities conducted raids in five Indian states last month and some raids are continuing, Neil D'Cruze of WAP said on Tuesday.

While the plant hadĀ disappeared from the Indian countryside, wildlife traffickers hadĀ been buying the dried lizard penises and selling them online, the Wildlife Trust of India said in New Delhi.

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 - AP

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