The Forest Department on Monday seized 80 kg of sandalwood from a former Congress panchayat member and his wife at Ulvayal, near Peradipallam in Kanthalloor village. Ponnuswami, 48, and Ramathai, 45, were apprehended by the Forest sleuths in an operation after receiving a tip-off about their clandestine operations.
Ponnuswami is a former member of the Kanthalloor panchayat. The Forest team, comprising of DFO Justin Stanley, Range officers Sajiv Kumar, H T Jose and others, caught the couple while they were selling the sandalwood to some businessmen from Adimali and Mangulam.The duo was arrested under various sections of the Kerala Forest Act. They were produced before the Devikulam Judicial First Class Magistrate Court on Monday and remanded in custody.