Six tonnes of sandalwood seized in Puducherry

The factory is allegedly owned by a man from Kerala and the land in which it is located allegedly belongs to a Puducherry minister’s daughter, sources added.
Tamil Nadu forest department officials from Salem seized sandalwood dust hidden in a sandal oil manufacturing unit in Villianur, Puducherry.
Tamil Nadu forest department officials from Salem seized sandalwood dust hidden in a sandal oil manufacturing unit in Villianur, Puducherry.(Photo | Express)

PUDUCHERRY: Forest Department officials from Salem seized six tonnes of sandalwood and sawdust from an essential oil factory in Puducherry. The factory operates on land allegedly owned by the daughter of Puducherry Agriculture Minister Theni C Djeacoumar.

According to sources, during a vehicle check in Salem, forest officials seized 1.5 tonnes of sandalwood transported from Kerala in a container lorry without proper permission. A total of Six persons were arrested in the case. Upon inquiry, it was discovered that the sandalwood was destined for Indore Afro Essential Oil Private Limited in Ulavaikal near Villianur, Puducherry.

A team led by Assistant Conservator of Forests R Selvakumar conducted an inspection at the factory on Thursday, following which they found a total of six tonnes of sandalwood, sawdust, and 24 kilograms of oil in search.  The inspection and inquiry continued until Friday evening and the officials seized the items and informed the Puducherry district administration, but no arrests were made. The factory is allegedly owned by a man from Kerala and the land in which it is located allegedly belongs to a Puducherry minister’s daughter, sources added.  

A senior official from the Salem district forest department said, “We have not yet identified the owner, as those named as owners deny ownership. Further investigation is underway and the oil has been sent for testing to determine if it is sandalwood oil or another type.” He added that action would be taken based on the investigation findings.

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