Four Chinese men were detained early on Friday at the international airport in Bangalore after 202 kgs of precious Red sandalwood was recovered from their baggage.
The wood, smuggled extensively, is an endangered species and the seized consignment, intercepted by Central Industrial Security Force personnel, is estimated to be valued at about Rs 10 lakh in the market.
The Chinese men were bound for Chengdu on a China Airlines flight, and Customs officials are now questioning them about the source of the precious wood.
"As their handbags were screened, two CISF screeners decided to go for physical checking of the hand bags of these passengers as they needed to clarify some objects seen in the image. On physical check of the handbags (eight), it was found that the passengers were carrying small blocks of Red sandalwood.
"Based on this input, the checked-in baggages of the passengers were also off-loaded and searched where it was found that they were carrying large quantity of Red sandalwood. The total weight of the consignment seized is 202 kgs and its value at around Rs. 10 lakhs in the open market," a senior CISF officer said.