The forest department has arrested a resident of Assam who was smuggling 80 kg of agarwood and 10 litre of its oil. The passenger after being caught by the customs department was handed over to the forest department after which it was established that he had a fake permit that stated that the Assam forest department had allowed him to carry agarwood.
The passenger, Bhavani Shanker Parikh, a businessman was found to be carrying agarwood, which is a banned item in the state and was under the custody of the forest department on Friday, after being detained on Thursday.
Forest officials then also detained Mohammad Sulieman-u-ddin who was acting as the receiver.
According to Parikh, he was unaware that carrying agarwood in the state was banned without an authentic permit from the Assam forest. Officers said that according to Parikh, he was handed over the woods by one of his friends and was asked to deliver to his another friend in Mumbai.
The forest officials said that the receiver is a labourer working in a shop in the city. Sameer Inamdar, the investigating officer and round forest officer of Thane forest department said, “We are investigating the kingpin in Assam and the final receiver here in Mumbai. For this, we will be approaching the Assam forest department to help us catch Parikh’s friend.” He further added, “We are yet to calculate its total cost. However, these woods are used for making agarbatti, scented perfumes, ittar etc.” Both Parikh and Mohammad were produced at the Andheri court on Saturday after which they were remanded in judicial custody till July 1.