More than 15,000 Kilograms of Red Sandalwood was seized in Madhya Pradesh last month said a Public Relations Officer (PRO) on October 6. The consignment which is said to be worth around Rs 8 crores was being transported from Chennai to Moradabad. Three people have been arrested in connection and a case has been registered against the accused under relevant sections.
While speaking to PTI, the Public Relations Officer said that, "The forest department's special task force last month seized 15,500 kg of red sandalwood, also known as 'Rakt Chandan', from the possession of two persons, who are natives of Tamil Nadu, at Khalghat toll plaza in Madhya Pradesh's Dhar district." After interrogations, the police also arrested a third person from Thiruvallur district in Tamil Nadu, based on information given by the two people. They also admitted that the consignment was brought from a protected area around the hills of Tirupati-Tirumala in Andhra Pradesh. The type of sandalwood seized has a great demand abroad and is extensively used in making idols, musical instruments and medicines. Under section of Biological Diversity Act and the Indian Forest Act, a case has been registered against the three arrested.
Earlier on September 16, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) had seized around 20 megatonnes of red sanders log worth around Rs 9 crores and detained two people. The logs were allegedly being transported to Dubai and were seized at Dhar in Madhya Pradesh whereas, on August 23, three people carrying 200 kgs of red sandalwood were detained near Kosamala village in Andhra Pradesh. The Mumbai Police had also busted an international racket pertaining to the smuggling of red sandalwood. On September 10, the Mumbai Police seized 1.5 tonnes of red sandalwood worth Rs 7.5 crore which was allegedly being smuggled to Hong Kong and China.
(With PTI Inputs)