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Red sandalwood seized‚ two held



KATHMANDU: Sleuths from Metropolitan Police Range, Hanumandhoka, intercepted a truck transporting sand and hauled 400 kg red sandalwood in the capital.

The truck was en route to Bhaktapur when police stopped the truck at Gaurighat and carried out a thorough search. DSP Chakra Bahadur Singh, MPR spokesperson, said Bhim Bahadur Sunar, 19, the driver, and Khem Bahadur Singh, 1), his helper were arrested for further investigation.

“We were first tipped about the illegal excavation of sand on the banks of rivers in Kathmandu and its transportation to various construction sites. This prompted us to keep vigil in suspected areas. Finally, we found the red sandalwood being smuggled,” he informed.

According to Inspector Manjil Mukarung, logs of red sand was hidden beneath the consignment of sand on the truck.

Truck owner Ramesh Prajapati of Thimi, Bhaktapur, is at large. Officials said they were trying to reach him for investigation.

Police arrested Akkal Bahadur Gubhaju, 21, of Pangtang, Sindhupalchowk with ivory ornaments and red sandalwood from Bouddha yesterday.

The final destination of the precious wood is China.

On January 13, police had raided Auto Clinic in the area leading to seizure of 24 necklaces and 73 ivory ornaments and 62 kg red sandalwood. Akkal Bahadur Gubhaju of Sindhupalchowk was arrested then.

Red sandalwood is smuggled to Nepal via Andra Pradesh of India before it is sent to China via Tatopani Customs Point. There is huge demand for red sandalwood in China, where it is used in preparing medicine, handicraft items and furniture.

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