A gang of sandalwood smugglers prowling in Coimbatore made a failed bid to chop and smuggle the pricey woods for the third consecutive day on the early morning hours of Friday.
The smugglers escaped due to movement of public in the neighbourhood. On receiving information, the Race Course police rushed to the spot and held inquiries. This incident comes a day after smugglers gave a slip to chasing cops on Thursday night.
Then, the smugglers had axed a sandalwood tree grown on a public pathway behind Murugan mill in Saibaba Colony. They had loaded the woods in their car and left the spot. Acting on a tip off, the city police launched intensive vehicle checks and tried to intercept their car in the same neighbourhood.
When the smugglers sped away without stopping, the police began a hard chase. The smugglers then got down their car and managed to escape. Police seized the car and sandalwood logs kept in it. In a similar incident, the prowling sandalwood smugglers on Wednesday night attempted to smuggle sandalwood trees in Kattoor and Sai Baba Colony areas, but dropped after a security guard noticed them and raised an alarm.
The modus operandi of the smugglers is to wander around during day time to identity grown up sandalwood trees and strike during night hours. The trees are usually smuggled to Kerala to oil and scent making units.
It is believed that the same gang has been involved in all these incidents. The police have increased vigil to prevent further theft of sandalwood trees.