DIGBOI: At least four timber smugglers were arrested along with an illegally procured sawn timber consignment being transported in a vehicle, by a team of forest personnel on Friday early morning from Digboi Balijan area in Tinsukia district.
The accused have been identified as Hemanta Saikia (38), Sasanka Gogoi (40), both belonging to Digboi Borbil No 3, while Nirab Dohutia (27) and Bhadrajit Dohutia (30) hail from Horumesai village under Kakopather Police Station.
"We intercepted the vehicle illegally transporting the forest products at Balijan area while it was moving towards Duliajan. We also arrested the four accused who were escorting the vehicle," said the DFO Digboi Division, TC Ranjit, adding, "The accused have been booked under various provisions of Assam Forest Regulation Act, 1891."
"Based on interrogation, we also raided a timber depot in Duliajan in Dibrugarh district this afternoon and seized several documents concerning the trade which also lead to the sealing the depot," said the forest official who has launched crackdown on encroachment, deforestation and poaching activities under the division. "We are connecting all the possible dots so that the nexus can be busted," the DFO further added.
According to the investigating forest team, the seized forest products had been locally sawn in the Balijan-Borjan forest village area and were being smuggled inter-district. "More smugglers have been identified and efforts are on to book all those involved in the illegal trade," informed one of the officials of the division. The arrested persons will be produced before the court for further legal proceedings on Saturday morning.