In a major breakthrough, BSF, forest and police officials in a joint raid have seized around 9,000 kgs of sandalwood worth nearly Rs 25 crore in Tripura, officials said here on Wednesday. "Acting on a tip-off, BSF, forest and police officials have seized around 9,000 kgs of sandalwood from a godown at Arundhutinagar (on the outskirts of capital Agartala) on Tuesday night," Border Security Force Inspector General Ashok Kumar Yadav said.
According to the BSF official, the market value of the seized sandalwood would be around Rs 25 crore. None was arrested so far in connection with the seizure of the sandalwood. This is the first major seizure of sandalwood in the northeastern state.
The godown, from where the sandalwood was recovered was earlier owned by a private tobacco company, which had shutdown their business a few years back.
West Tripura District Forest Officer (DFO) Shakti Kant Singh said that if the quality of the sandalwood is finer, then the value of these forest produce would be Rs 25 to 30 crore.
"To ascertain the quality, value and other aspects of the seized sandalwood, we are sending the sample to Institute of Wood Science and Technology in Bengaluru and Forest Research Institute in Dehradun," Singh told IANS.
"We are also investigating how this huge amount of sandalwood was stored in the godown. We are also looking for the people who are involved in the illegal trade of sandalwood," he DFO said.