Uttar Pradesh Police and Delhi Police, in a joint operation, have seized 144 quintals of Sandalwood, worth Rs 50 crores, in Amroha, it was learnt on Monday.
Three men, Arshad Ali Ansari, Mahmood Alam Ansari and Mohammad Salman have been arrested. They were alleged to be involved in the illegal export of sandalwood to China and Japan.
The joint police operation was conducted in a timber warehouse in Amroha.
The accused have told the police that they procured illegal sandalwood from Ahmedabad and Hyderabad, among other places in the country.
“In Amroha, the sandalwood was stored in a warehouse run by one Shaqir. Here it was chopped into small pieces and then illegally exported to China and Japan, among other places. The sandalwood chips were concealed in items like thermocol and other household items,” said police in a statement.
Shaqir, and his father Qamar Ahmad Ansari, however are absconding.
Indian sandalwood is used for construction work, furniture, handicrafts and for medicinal purposes. It has been listed as “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).