YouTuber Arrested For Snake Venom Party Drug Supply

By Brian Myers | Published

deadly snake

YouTube star Elvish Yadav, an Indian influencer who has amassed more than 15 million followers on the platform, has been arrested for alleged violations of the Wildlife Act. Yadav has been accused of smuggling snake venom into raves so that it could be used for illicit purposes. A police investigation after a raid on a November rave led to five suspects being questioned, each of whom pointed the finger at Yadav as the organizer and snake venom supplier.

A Growing Party Drug Trend

copperhead snake

The police seized nine snakes from the rave, which included several extremely lethal cobras and kraits. Investigators also managed to recover an estimated 20 ml of snake venom, likely extracted from the reptiles by a dangerous process known as snake-milking. While the idea of people using snake venom as a party drug might shock most people, it’s an act that has been on the radar of wildlife officials in India for several years now.

Video Evidence

king cobra snake

Snake venom is known to have been used as a recreational substance more than a dozen times in India since 2022. Yadav and others in his circle popped onto the radar of wildlife officials in the country some time ago when an animal rights group named People for Animals reported that the YouTuber was filming videos with deadly snakes and snake venom. Law enforcement and health officials are concerned that this potentially lethal form of recreational substance use could grow in popularity, given the alleged offenses by Yadav and his social media influence.

Similar To Opoids

snake zebra cobra

Snake venom, along with venom from scorpions and the stings from wasps, has been used for recreational highs for a number of years. The bulk of these users are opioid addicts who need a substitute for their drug of choice when it is not readily available. When the proper dose is ingested, the venom of some snakes is a known cause of analgesia or the inability to feel pain.

A Fall From Grace

The use of snake venom as parties is still a relatively new phenomenon, however. But no matter the reason for ingesting snake venom, there’s a risk of painful death when the snake is handled as well as when its venom is consumed.

Yadav agreed to cooperate fully with the snake venom investigation, but while he initially denied any wrongdoing, he has since come clean and admitted guilt. The investigation last fall led to his arrest several days ago and his being remanded to 14 days of judicial custody.

Hoisted By His Own Petard

Before the snake venom fiasco, Yadav was most known for his big win on Bigg Boss OTT. The show, which is an Indian television version of Big Brother, is one of the country’s most popular and highest rated shows. Yadav’s primary YouTube channel has more than 1 billion views.

In addition to his channel, Yadav has a clothing line called Systumm Clothing and is the founder of the Elvish Yadav Foundation. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison for violations of India’s Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act of 1985 as well as multiple violations under the Wildlife Protection Act.

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