A West Bengal native was arrested here on charges of smuggling red sandalwood and being found in possession of over 570 kg of fine quality fragrant timber worth Rs 2 crore, police said Wednesday.
A resident of Darjeeling in West Bengal, 41-year-old Amit Verma was arrested from Asola village in South Delhi, said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ram Naik.
He was arrested after a raid at a godown in the village that the accused had hired to store the contraband, said the DCP, adding a total of 571.4 kg of sandalwood was seized from there.
The police raided the godown on a tip off that a man had hired it and stored huge quantity of the contraband in it, he said.
“A police team laid a trap near Asola village and arrested the accused on Monday at around 7 pm and eight logs of red sandalwood were recovered from the godown,” said Naik.
The DCP added that a wildlife inspector too later identified the seized timber logs as that of superior quality Red Sanders (Pterocarpus Santalinus).
During interrogation, Verma disclosed that he, along with his associates, used to smuggle the sandalwood from Karnataka in trucks concealed under the heap of clothes, the DCP added.
Naik said the police has zeroed in on two Nepalese as main receivers of the sandalwood in Delhi and NCR who used to further smuggle them to China and other countries, said Naik, adding the police are trying to nab Nepalese duo too.