A team of Assam Rifles intercepted four fully loaded trucks near Machi Loken in Manipur's Chandel district on March 7 and arrested six suspected timber smugglers. The trucks were carrying illegal timber worth an estimated Rs 10 lakh.
The apprehension was made based on a tip-off from across the border that illegal timber was being transported from Myanmar. The seized timber, along with the apprehended smugglers, was handed over to the Range Officer of the Forest Department for further legal action.
Illegal timber in the bordering areas is a major environmental and criminal activity concern, with most of the wood or timber brought in being cut without valid permits and sold in the illegal or black market. Despite efforts to prevent such activities, sources say that some government officials are involved, turning a blind eye to the ill effects of the illegal timber business in exchange for a hefty sum of money.
Earlier in January, two truckloads of timber worth around Rs 2.56 crore in the regional market were impounded, along with six alleged smugglers in Manipur's Ukhrul district bordering Myanmar on the east.
The authorities are taking strict action against such illegal activities to safeguard the environment and maintain law and order in the region.
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