Police in Gandhinagar arrested five persons and seized 178 kilograms of sandal wood, which was allegedly being smuggled by the accused, on Monday night.

According to police, the Gandhinagar Local Crime Branch (LCB) arrested five accused- Ashok Talpada (32), Jayanti Talpada (24), Arvind Talpada (34), Suresh Talpada (97), residents of Anand along with Mahmad Hanif Malek (33), resident of Kheda, during a vehicle inspection drive in Pethapur.

We received information that a group of smugglers were trying to bring sandalwood in Gandhinagar and a team intercepted an Eeco van in which stacks of wood were kept. After forest officials inspected the goods in the van, it was found to be sandalwood weighing 178 kilograms worth Rs 5.34 lakh, said a senior police official in Gandhinagar LCB.

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The accused have told us during interrogation that they procured the wood from a dealer in Satlasana of Mehsana and were trying to sell them in Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad, he added.

All five were booked under IPC 379 for theft and sections of the Indian Forest Act and Felling of Trees (Infliction of punishment) Act.

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