New Delhi: A 44-year-old man was arrested from Delhi on charges of smuggling red sandalwood logs, worth around Rs 50 lakh, police said on Friday.
Bhole Ram Kashyap, a resident of Subhash Park, had taken a godown on rent to keep the consignment, they said.
Red sandalwood is one of the most valuable species of tree in Indian forestry and is valued for the rich red colour of its wood. It is an important export product that is traded illegally in the international market.
On Thursday, police received information that Kashyap, who was involved in smuggling of red sandalwood logs, was operating from Garhi Mendu village here, a senior police officer said.
"Thereafter, a raid was conducted and the accused was apprehended. A total of 1797.05 kilogram of banned red sandalwood logs, worth around Rs 50 lakh, was recovered," Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) Rajesh Deo said.
During Kashyap's interrogation, it was learnt that he used to procure red sandalwood logs from Chittorgarh in Rajasthan and Hyderabad. This was facilitated by one of his partners, who is a resident of Patna in Bihar, he said.
The logs were then sold in Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan and Haryana. Further investigation is underway, police said.
Red sandalwood is expensive and used not only for medicinal purposes, but also industries.