Image: Assam Rifles

The troops of the Shangshak Battalion under 10 Sector Assam Rifles on Friday claimed to have seized illegal betel nuts and timber worth around Rs 4.95 crores during an operation in Manipur’s border villages of Makan, Wanglee and Namlee in the Kamjong district on January 28 last.

A total of 1353 bags of Betel Nuts weighing approximately 82 Tonnes with a market value of worth Rs 2.44 crores and a total of 491 logs of different categories of timber worth approximately Rs 2.5 crores were seized at these locations.

This was stated in a press release issued on Friday.

The recovery is one of the largest recoveries of contraband items in the recent times and a major blow to the nexus of illegal activities, public relations officer headquarters Inspector General Assam Rifles (South) said.

Based on consistent intelligence input about illegal smuggling of betel nuts and timber through Indo-Myanmar Border, the Shangshak Battalion of 10 Sector Assam Rifles, launched an operation in the border villages of Makan, Wanglee and Namlee in the Kamjong district of Manipur on January 28, the release said.

“Troops of Assam Rifles reached the site in early hours of the day and found that the smugglers had fled the area leaving the huge dumps of contraband items unattended,” claims PRO Assam Rifles (South) in its release.

“It appears that the recent crackdown by Assam Rifles and various Government agencies on the illegal activities, which were earlier being carried out through NH -102 (Imphal – Moreh axis), had made the smugglers and peddlers desperate to find alternate routes of smuggling,” the PRO added.

In this instance, it is evident that the illegal timber and betel nuts were smuggled from Myanmar into Namlee, a border village and further brought to Wanglee and Makan villages.

These contraband items had been dumped illegally at these locations over a period of time by virtue of its remoteness and accessibility from the Kabaw valley.

These items are then further moved into Indian markets through Dimapur to other parts of country.

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