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4 Jun 2018

Teak seized, 4 arrested

TT, Cooch Behar: Police seized teakwood worth over Rs 40 lakh from Barokodali near the Bengal-Assam border on Saturday night and arrested four persons while the consignment was being smuggled into Calcutta.

The seizure was made under Baxirhat police station after a tip-off.

Bholanath Pandey, the superintendent of police, Cooch Behar, said on Sunday that the timber had been loaded into vehicles somewhere in the Northeast and was on the way to Calcutta. "We had information that illegal timber would be smuggled from the Northeast into Calcutta. Accordingly, our men intercepted two trucks and conducted a search. In total, 1,340 cubic feet of teakwood have been seized from the vehicles," he said.

The police have arrested four persons - Ismail Khan and Asif Khan from Rajasthan and Liakat Ali and Ashique Khan from Haryana.

"Both the trucks had permits to carry bamboo from the Northeast. But they were using the permits to smuggle the timber out of the region," said a police officer.

Police sources said a timber smuggling racket had become active in Baxirhat and the adjoining areas of Assam in recent times.

"In April this year, we had seized timber worth around Rs 30 lakh while it was on the way from the Northeast. Again, there was a teakwood haul on Saturday. The Anti-Crime Branch has been specifically instructed to keep tabs on the border to prevent timber smuggling," said a police source.

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