Forest personnel of the Kuppam range seized a lorry with five tonnes of red sanders logs at V. Kota mandal headquarters purview in the early hours of Wednesday after the smugglers abandoned the vehicle and fled. The seized stock is said to be worth over Rs. 1.5 crore in the international market.

Forest Range Officer (Kuppam) M. Reddappa told The Hindu that forest officials were tipped-off had information on smuggling activity through the Karnataka border and Chennai via V.Kota for two months.

“We kept our personnel at the V.Kota border check post, and also engaged informants. In the early hours, we were alerted when the vehicle crossed the check post from Karnataka side and entered V.Kota. However, the vehicle gave a slip at the check post and fled. We gave a hot chase, and seized the abandoned vehicle” he said. Earlier, when the lorry entered V.Kota, the Karnataka police tried to intercept it. Kuppam forest officials and the Karnataka police had a jurisdictional dispute, but finally the former shifted the seized stocks to the area office at Kuppam.