Smuggled timber worth Rs 3 lakh was seized on Saturday from some villages in Manipur‘s Ukhrul district in a raid led by state Forest Minister T Shyamkumar.
“In the raids supervised by me, 17 truckloads of timber and one recovery truck were impounded in the mountain villages like Phungyar. Police are taking up steps to establish the identity of the truck owners,” he said.
Phungyar is located 132 km from Imphal.
Noting several illegal saw mills have been spotted in the border villages, Shyamkumar said that it was “now ascertained that the timber had been smuggled from Myanmar. The saw mills prepare wood suitable for building and other constructions which are then brought to Imphal and nearby areas”.
In the recent past, the Minister had confiscated such illegal timber in Imphal. He said that the trucks were not stopped by the security personnel in the two camps along the border road, while the government will examine why Forest Department checkposts are not kept along the mountain roads.
The seized timber will be later auctioned, he said. Police have registered a case and are checking the ownership of the trucks.
Officials said that as the clandestine saw mills have been doing thriving business in the border areas as many saw mills in other parts of the state including Imphal had been closed down as there is no business for them.