Sleuths of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) seized 14.93 tonnes of red sander (sandalwood) logs from a godown in Nadiad in Central Gujarat.
The value of the seized consignment in the international market, official sources said, is estimated to be Rs 8.96 crore.
DRI officials had received “specific intelligence” that red sander logs were going to be exported illegally in the guise of marble slabs.
The container, according to the modus operandi, would be stuffed with marble slabs at Udaipur in Rajasthan under Central Excise supervision.
While transporting the logs to the place of export, the same would be routed through a godown in Nadiad, 45 km from Ahmedabad, where the marble slabs would be replaced with red sander logs.
Official sources said that a team of DRI officers from Ahmedabad and Gandhidham in Kutch district raided the godown in Nadiad on Thursday and found consignment of red sander logs being stuffed in the container.
The consignment weighed 14.93 tonnes and its value in international market is estimated to be Rs 8.96 crores.
No arrests have been made and further investigation was on.
Red sanders has negligible utilization within the country mainly in Ayurvedic pharmacopoeia and some times for making small toys. The species has virtually no domestic demand for constructional or furniture use.
Almost all the seizures are at the exit points during attempted smuggling.