Purulia: Sandalwood Smuggling, 4 arrested


Four people were detained on Monday from a hideout in Salkia, Howrah, by Purulia police after they uncovered an interstate sandalwood smuggling ring. They were brought before a Purulia court on Wednesday night.

Three of the four are from Odisha, and the fourth is a Howrah resident,180 kg of stolen sandalwood logs that were stashed in two jute sacks and are thought to be worth about Rs 20 lakh were also found by the police. According to the authorities, the sandalwood was taken from many forests in Purulia.According to sources, the seizure occurred as police were looking into a case of sandalwood tree theft in Purulia’s Ayodhya Hills region’s Baghmundi forest.

Forest officials filed a police complaint after the theft event occurred on October 13 of this year. The police claimed that during their investigation, they learned that the theft of sandalwood trees was being carried out as part of an interstate ring. Four people were taken into custody on Monday after a police unit raided the Howrah hideaway after receiving a tip. On Wednesday night, they appeared before a Purulia court after being taken to the city on transit remand. Police have them in custody right now.

Police refused to name those arrested for the sake of the ongoing investigation. “As of now we have come to know that these four persons are basically receivers of smuggled sandalwood. Some more persons from the states of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh are involved in the racket. We will arrest them soon,” said Abhijit Banerjee, the Purulia SP.

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