At least four timber smugglers were arrested along with an illegal consignment of sawn timber, which was being carried in a vehicle by a team of forest personnel of Friday early morning from Digboi Balijan area in Tinsukia district.
The accused have been identified as Hemanta Saikia (38), Sasanka Gogoi (40) both belonging to Digboi Borbil No 3 while Nirab Dohutia (27) and Bhadrajit Dohutia (30) hail from Horumesai village under Kakopather police station.
“We intercepted the vehicle, which was illegally transporting the forest products at Balijan area while it was moving towards Duliajan destination,” said TC Ranjit, the divisional forest officer (DFO) of Digboi Division.
“Besides, we arrested 4 accused who were escorting the vehicle,” the forest officer said adding, “The culprits have been booked under various sections of the Assam Forest Regulation Act 1891.”
“Based on interrogation, we also raided a timber depot in Duliajan in Dibrugarh district this afternoon and seized several documents on the trade which led to the sealing of the depot,” the IFS officer.
The forest officer has been driving hard to crack down on the menace of encroachment, deforestation, and poaching activities under the division comprising five forest ranges.
“We are connecting all the possible dots so that the nexus can be busted,” said the DFO.
According to the investigating forest team, the seized forest products were locally sawn in the Balijan-Borjan forest village area.
“More timber smugglers have been identified and efforts are on to book all those involved in the illegal trade,” informed one of the officials of the division.
The arrested persons will be produced before the court for further legal proceedings on Saturday morning.