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Indian YouTuber Elvish Yadav arrested for allegedly supplying snake venom as party drug

Indian YouTuber Elvish Yadav has been arrested for allegedly supplying snake venom to be used as a recreational drug at raves.

The influencer, who has 15 million YouTube subscribers, was detained under the Wildlife Act, according to Indian broadcaster NDTV.

A party he was at in November was raided on the suspicion that snake venom was being used as a drug by partygoers.

Police launched an investigation and questioned five people on suspicion of snake smuggling, who named Yadav as the alleged organiser of the parties and snake venom supply.

Yadav, who won an Indian version of Big Brother, Bigg Boss OTT, denied all the charges, NDTV reported. He said he would fully cooperate with police.

Nine snakes, including cobras, were recovered from the party along with 20ml of snake venom, the broadcaster said.

Yadav has now been remanded to 14 days of judicial custody, four months after he was first questioned, the Times of India reported.

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The case came to light after a complaint by animal welfare organisation People For Animals alleging Yadav and others were shooting videos with snakes and snake venom, according to India Today.

According to a 2022 research paper in the Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, there have been concerns about the use of snake vemon as a drug.

"Use of snake venom can often be seen at rave parties," the study said, noting 13 cases of snake venom being used as a recreational substance in India.