AHMEDABAD : The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) on Monday seized 14.63 metric tonnes of red sanders worth Rs 11.70 crore in the international market from a consignment kept in an Inland Container Depot (ICD) on the outskirts of Ahmedabad city in Gujarat.
Preliminary probe has revealed the sandalwood logs were meant to be exported to Sharjah in UAE, the DRI said in a release.
DRI officials had received a tip off that a shipping container kept at ICD Sabarmati contains red sander logs, which, to dodge the authorities, the exporter had declared as “assorted toiletries”.
“When the container was scanned using a scanning device, DRI found the presence of some goods in the shape of logs, and the absence of assorted toiletries. A physical examination revealed the entire container was stuffed with wooden logs that appeared to be red sandalwood, the export of which is prohibited,” an official said.
“In all, DRI found 840 logs of red sandalwood, which have been seized under the Customs Act, 1962. Further investigation regarding domestic movement of the goods, their transportation and the exporter concerned is in progress,” he added.
Rich hue and therapeutic properties of this tree are responsible for its high demand across Asia, particularly in China, for use in cosmetics, medicinal products and high-end furniture and woodcraft.
The export of red sanders is prohibited as per the country’s foreign trade policy.