The exploitation of the indigenous tribe by ruthless smugglers prompted the Forest Department to have a rethink of their strategies to counter smuggling.
The scenic fragrant sandalwood forest of Marayur sits on a network of deceit, betrayal and violence.
Marayur in Idukki district is famed for its sweet jaggery and sweet-smelling sandalwood forest.
Only 800 tons of gold is imported to India every year. Yet at least 1,000 tons of gold is added to the market every year.
Three central agencies, the Election Commission, Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the investigation wing of the Income Tax (I-T) Department, are probing Kodakara hawala robbery case.
It is not clear what led to the October 24, 2020, Government Order, which timber smugglers allegedly used as a cover to indiscriminately cut down protected rosewood and teak trees.
A kilogram of sandalwood costs Rs 16,000 in the market, and the largest sandalwood tree in Marayur is valued at about Rs 5 crore.
Indications are that the Principal Secretary (Revenue) had objected to the issuance of the order, before the Under Secretary forwarded the relevant file to the minister.
Totally, Rs 23.34 lakh and gold worth Rs 1.25 lakh was seized from the residence of an accused in the case.
Contradicting Sarith and Swapna’s statements, Sreeramakrishnan had told the Customs that he had handed over an empty bag and there was no money in it.