Karnataka: 25 kg of sandalwood, dead monitor lizard seized; 2 held | Mangaluru News – Times of India

MANGALURU: Forest officials of the Bantwal range have arrested two people and seized 25 kg of sandalwood worth an approximate Rs 3 lakh, and a dead monitor lizard on Thursday.
Range forest officer (RFO) Rajesh Baligar told TOI that Ibrahim, a resident of Kasaragod district, was caught red-handed in a reserve forest area in the Bantwal range limits, when he was attempting to smuggle sandalwood. Two others who were along with him are absconding.
The gang was allegedly selling the sandalwood to Moideen Kunhi of Ira village. From the house of Kunhi, sandalwood that was cut neatly was seized. He told the officers that the sandalwood that was stored in his house, would be sold in Kasaragod, and an investigation is on in this regard.
It is learnt that there are two other active groups that are into smuggling sandalwood, and the forest department has intensified its investigation. The accused were produced before a court on Friday and remanded in judicial custody.
Meanwhile, the forest officers also seized a dead monitor lizard that was brought to the house for consumption. A team that was part of the raids included deputy rangers Yashodhar, Preetham and Basappa and forest guards Shobith, Jithesh Ravi Kumar, Dayananda and Rekha as well as watchers Praveen and Bhaskar and driver Jayaram.

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Sagar Biswas

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