The Champhai district forest department personnel seized 90 quintals of red sandalwood being carried in a truck between Melbuk and Mualkawi village of Champhai district near the No-2, Indo-Burma trade road at around 11 am.
A Mizoram newspaper reported that the red sandalwood was transported from Andhra Pradesh state of India and carried through Vairengte and Kolassib Road to Mizoram. The sandalwood was transferred to another truck in Rangvamual village near Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram to be carried to the Indo-Burma border.
The newspaper added that the red sandalwood smugglers were suspected to belong to a group from different places operating in India.
Red sandalwood is rare and precious. Its import and sale is strictly prohibited by the Indian government.
Red sandalwood is being planted in states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Manipur.
The international price of sandalwood is estimated to be Rs. 5000 for a kilogram. The price of 90 quintals of sandalwood is estimated to be around Rs 450 lakhs in the black market. Local traders believe that the seized sandalwood was meant to be taken to China through Burma. Khonumthung news