Thane: Two persons were today arrested for allegedly smuggling red sandalwood and 6.5 tonnes of the wood worth Rs 16.5 lakhs was seized, police said.
Acting on a tip-off, police apprehended one Vinod Vishwakarma (29) at the Teen Haath Naka and recovered two pieces of red sandalwood from him, Wagle Estate headquarters senior inspector Prakash Gavhane said.
Later, on the lead provided by Vinod, police seized 1.5 tonnes of sandalwood worth Rs 4.01 lakh from Daighar near Thane city and 5 tonnes worth Rs 12.5 lakh from a godown in Uran in the neighbouring Raigad district, Gavhane said, adding that the seized sandalwood`s cost was worth several crores in international market.
The red sandalwood is smuggled to some foreign countries since it fetches a good value there, police said.
Police also arrested a custom house agent, Pravin P Joshi (42), who handled the export activities there and was allegedly involved in smuggling of the precious wood.
Joshi had been booked earlier on similar charges and the same was being probed by Mumbai police, police added.