Forest Department officials on Friday seized 18 kg of sandalwood from a car at Thirumoorthy Hills near Udumalpet and arrested two persons who had reportedly been travelling in the vehicle.
One of the accused, S. Abbas (21), works as a car broker and is a resident of Udumalpet town. The other accused, D. Ashok Raj (41), hails from an agrarian family based at Kurichikottai near Udumalpet.
Forest Ranger (Udumalpet) S. Thangaraj Paneerselvam told reporters that the car was intercepted based on a tip-off.
“The questioning of the two accused who were in the vehicle revealed that they have been taking the sandalwood to Mannarkkad in Kerala where it had a good market. A kilogram of sandalwood helps the traders fetch almost Rs. 6,000 from the companies that manufacture sandalwood oil and perfumes,” he said.
The accused were remanded to judicial custody by a magistrate court at Udumalpet under Tamil Nadu Forest Act, 1882, and Sandalwood Transit Act, Mr. Paneerselvam said.