4 arrested with stolen sandalwood of Purulia
Purulia police busted an interstate sandalwood smuggling racket and arrested four persons from a hideout in Salkia, Howrah, on Monday and produced them in a Purulia court on Wednesday evening.
Among the four, three are from Odisha and the fourth is a resident of Howrah.
The police also seized 180 kilos of stolen sandalwood logs kept in two jute sacks, which are estimated to be worth around Rs 20 lakh. The police said the sandalwood had been stolen from various forests of Purulia.
Sources said the seizure comes at a time when the police were investigating a case of theft of sandalwood trees in Baghmundi forest of Purulia’s Ayodhya Hills area. The theft incident took place on October 13 this year, prompting forest officials to lodge a complaint with the police.
The police said that during investigation they came to know about the involvement of an interstate racket behind the theft of sandalwood trees. Acting on a tip-off, a police team raided the Howrah hideout on Monday and arrested four persons. They were brought to Purulia on transit remand and produced in a Purulia court on Wednesday evening. They are now in police custody.
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.