Balasore Forest Department recently foiled a Pushpa-style smuggling bid and seized a timber-laden vehicle at Somnathpur area under Remuna block in the district.
As per reports, an attempt by mafias to smuggle timber worth lakhs of rupees in a novel way was thwarted by the Forest Department officials.
Acting on a tip-off, Nilagiri ranger, Aisha Ae Nisha and her team intercepted and seized the timber-laden pickup van near Somnathpur.
A search operation followed and the forest officials found that the vehicle was loaded with sacks full of sawdust. However, upon a detailed search, the police found a secret chamber below the sawdust sacks. The smugglers had filled the secret chamber with valuable timber worth lakhs of rupees.
The vehicle and the timber were seized. However, the driver of the vehicle managed to flee from the spot during the search operation.
According to the forest officials, the smugglers had loaded the vehicle with sacks of sawdust to hoodwink the police and the forest officials.
“Timber smugglers are adopting novel ways to hoodwink police and forest officials. However, we are alert enough to foil their attempts. The vehicle has been seized and investigation into the incident is underway. Stern action will be taken against the culprits after the investigation,” said Nilagiri ranger, Aisha Ae Nisha.
An investigation into the incident has been launched.