As many as 13 red sandalwood trees, an endangered species, were axed and main trunks smuggled out of the Sorakolathur reserve forest near here. The value of the smuggled logs was put at Rs.50,000.

Food Minister Agri S.S.Krishanmurthi, accompanied by Collector M. Rajendran, visited the spot on Saturday.

R. Rajendran, District Forest Officer, told the Minister that investigation showed the crime was committed by a seven-member gang. One of them had been detained.

More In: TAMIL NADU | NATIONAL