VELLORE:The trunks of two sandalwood trees were chopped and smuggled out of the Collector’s bungalow located on Anna Salai in Fort City despite round-the-clock security, with policemen armed with weapons at the bungalow.
“One tree measured 43 cm breadth and six-metres in height and the other tree measured 62 cm in breadth and seven metres in height. The trees were 10 to 15 years old and were growing in the back yard of the bungalow,” said a forest department official. The shocking incident came to light during the early hours of Wednesday when the staff working the bungalow noticed the remains of the trees.
Village Administrative Officer Mohammed Mogathiyar Ahmed filed a complaint regarding the incident with the Bagayam Police, who registered a case under the provision of Tamil Nadu Forest Act and launched an inquiry. The smugglers would have struck on Deepavali night and decamped with not less than 50 kg of sandalwood raising suspicions of an inside job, with persons familiar with the security at the Collector’s bungalow.