BHUBANESWAR: Special Task Force (STF) of Crime Branch arrested three persons and seized 4.60 quintal sandalwood worth over Rs 70 lakh from them in Cuttack district.
Acting on a tip-off, a team of officials conducted a search operation in Dalajodi forest under Tangi police limits on Thursday evening and seized the sandalwood while being transported.
The arrested persons have been identified as Hemanta Chatoi, Kanhu Charan Das, and Dandapani Das. Hemanta and Kanhu are natives of Tangi while Dandapani is a resident of Khandapada.
"The accused could not produce any licence or authority for possessing such huge quantity of sandalwood," said an STF officer.
They have been handed over to Tangi police station for further action. "A case has been registered under Sections 379, 411 and 34 of IPC along with Section 55-C(2) of the Orissa Forest Act," said the officer and added that further investigation is on.
Sandalwood oil is believed to be beneficial in treating both physical and mental disorders, including anxiety, bronchitis, diarrhoea, fatigue, fever, high blood pressure, indigestion, insomnia, liver problems, among others.