Latur, Jun 17 (PTI) Police said they seized nearly 2 tonnes of sandalwood logs worth Rs 62 lakh on Friday morning in Maharashtra’s Latur district and registered a case against three persons, two of them hailing from Kerala.
Police made the seizure after intercepting a car and later raiding a farmhouse on the outskirt of Satala village under Udgir tehsil of the central Maharashtra district, an official statement said.
According to the statement, Assistant Superintendent of Police Niketan Kadam received an information that a car was illegally transporting the precious wood from Yerol via Kabansangvi village.
A team of Chakur police officials was quickly formed, which laid a trap and intercepted the car near Kabansangvi and recovered 11 bags of sandalwood logs, it said.
Later, the police raided a farmhouse and recovered more sandalwood logs. In total, 1,957 kg of sandalwood worth approximately Rs 62 lakh was seized, the statement.
Subsequently, a case was registered at the Chakur police station under relevant sections of the IPC, the Indian Forest Act and the Maharashtra Tree Cutting Act against three persons – Sainath Ashruba Putte (43) – a local resident and the farmhouse owner – Latif Ahmed Kutty and Girish Kumar Vellutiri (both from Kerala), it added.
Red sanders or red sandalwood is a rare and precious wood found only in India. It is an endangered species, protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora list, whose export and import was banned in 1994. PTI COR RSY RSY
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