In two separate raids, the Forest Department in Chattogram has recovered illegal teak, gamari and gurjon timber – worth around Tk15 lakh – while they were being smuggled to Dhaka.
A special patrol team from Chattogram City Range and Hathazari Check Station of the Forest Department conducted joint operations on Thursday night and Friday. They recovered the illegal timber and seized a truck and motorised boat carrying the timber.
Nazmul Hasan Masud, an associate officer of Chattogram Forest Department (North), said that acting on a tip-off, special patrol teams of the department took up positions at several points of the city late at night on Thursday.
On Friday morning, when a truck carrying illegal timber was trying to head towards Dhaka, via Shershah New Road, the special team asked the vehicle to stop but it did not. The team members chased down the truck and seized it.
As many as 175 pieces of teak, gurjon and gamari timber were recovered from the truck. The timber was 187.56 cubic feet, with a current market value of approximately Tk5 lakh.
In a separate operation on the River Karnaphuli, 672 pieces of teak and gamari timber were recovered from a motorised boat. The timber smugglers fled leaving the boat in Bolirhat area on the river bank, he added.
Chattogram Forest Division (North) Officer Mozammel Haque Shah Chowdhury said the amount of timber recovered from the River Karnaphuli was 453.28 cubic feet. Its current market value is approximately Tk10 lakh.
He also said that special operations are being carried out to curb illegal timber smuggling in the area and timber worth crores of taka have been recovered in the last five months.