7-member sandalwood smuggling gang arrested

Over 70 kg of logs worth ₹21 lakh recovered

The Chintamani Rural Police, during a random check of vehicles on Monday, busted a sandalwood smuggling gang that has reportedly been involved in over nine cases in and around Chickballapur in the last one year alone. The police recovered 70.2 kg of sandalwood logs worth ₹21 lakh, and arrested seven members of the gang.

Police Sub-Inspector Narayanaswamy, who was checking vehicles on Bengaluru-Kadapa Road around 6 p.m., stopped their vehicle. The occupants initially confronted the police, but sensing trouble, the driver tried to take a u-turn. One of the gang members in the vehicle dropped a gunny sack filled with sandalwood logs.

The police gave a chase and managed to catch five of the accused, identified as Muniraju, Prasanna, Pradeep, Krishnamurthy and Mohammed Ismail. Based on their statements, the police arrested two more gang members Narasimha Murthy and Muniyappa, and recovered over 70 kg of sandalwood logs.

The accused allegedly confessed that they identified sandalwood trees in the district which they would chop and sell to their contacts. “They were heading to Kattigenahalli to sell the sandalwood when they were caught,” said Superintendent of Police G.K. Mithun Kumar, who announced a cash reward for the police team.

Source: Read Full Article