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The Staff of Anti-Auto Theft Squad/West District has recovered 1620 kg. ‘Red sandalwood’ worth about Rs. One Crore from Mundka area.

According to Pushpendra kumar, DCP, West Distt.,Information was received by ASI Dilbag Singh regarding dumping of banned Red Sandalwood at a godown in Mundka area. After due legal process, it was decided to call a forest officer to properly identify the recovered wood. Further the staff was directed to further develop the information.

On 18th Feb, the informer again reported the office team and confirmed regarding the information. In the meantime the forest officer Shiv Charan, Dy. Forest Ranger, detailed by the Dy. Conservator of forest, West forest division, Birla mandir, Mandir lane, New Delhi also reported the office. Immediately, a team comprising of SI Sumer Singh and other police persons was constituted including Sh. Shiv Charan, Dy. Forest Ranger to act promptly and further develop the information. The team so constituted was working under the leadership of Inspector Bal Krishan Badola, Inspector/ AATS/ West and overall supervision of Dinesh Kumar, ACP/ Operations/ West.

At about 12.30 PM, the team reached at Plot No. 48, Kh. No. 40/18/1, G/F, Friends enclave Extn. Mundka, Delhi. One room and a kitchen were found constructed at the plot. However, the owner of the plot whose name emerged as ‘Aman Singh’ not found despite sincere efforts. The room was locked, which was unlocked with the help of keys found in the kitchen. After opening total 56 wood logs found covered under a plastic ‘tirpal’. The Dy. Forest Ranger identified the wood logs of banned ‘Red Sandal’. The logs found 1620 Kgs. in weight and taken into police possession.

Red sandalwood or Red sandals are one of the most valuable tree species in Indian Forestry. Its botanical name is ‘Petrocarpus Santalinus’ and it is an important export product that is highly traded illegally in the international market. It provides cash incomes and adds considerably value to the national economy. This wood is highly expensive and used not only in medicinal purposes, but also in various industrial uses, and thus being over exploited from the source. The wood costs something about Rs. 5,000-6000 per kg in India and is in high demand at much higher price in China, Japan and other East Asian nations where it is reportedly used in the manufacturing of herbal aphrodisiacs.

Red Sandals are mainly found in Andhra Pradesh and north Tamil Nadu. The trees are naturally growing in the forests and since there is no systemic cultivation, at the face of increased exploitation, red sandalwood have become an endangered species in the country. A prohibited item for export, red sandals are a banned item in the list of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) of Wild Fauna and Flora.

Hence, a case vide FIR No. 105/16, U/S 379/411/120B IPC & 2/33/42/52/64 Indian Forest Act 1927 was registered in P. S. Mundka and investigation is taken up.

Further investigation is in progress to find out the sources, sellers and receivers of the red sandals logs. The staff involved in good work is being rewarded suitably.

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