Three held in Coorg for smuggling precious stones

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2,500 kgs of precious stones worth lakhs of rupees were being transported from Madikeri to Mysuru

In a significant operation, officials from the Kushalnagar Range Forest Office arrested three individuals involved in the illegal transportation of precious stones from the reserve forests in Madikeri Taluk to Mysuru. The operation also led to the seizure of the vehicles used in this illicit activity.

The arrests were made on early Tuesday at Kushalnagar vehicle check-post. During a routine check at 4 am, Forest Department staff signalled a pick-up vehicle (KA-21-C-6574) to stop, but the driver sped away, followed by an Alto car (KA-01-MD 1808). The Department personnel alerted Kushalnagar Range Forest Office and initiated a chase.

Both vehicles were intercepted at Periyapatna and three suspects were detained. Approximately 2,500 kg of precious stones, loaded onto the pick-up vehicle for transport to Mysuru, were confiscated. The stones, still in their raw form within rocks, have an estimated value running into lakhs of rupees once extracted.

The accused have been identified as M.G. Shivaprasad (35) from Ranipet, Madikeri, M.M. Jabir (40) from Mahadevapet, and M.A. Rizwan (45) from Azad Nagar, Madikeri.

The operation was conducted under the directives of Forest Officer Rathan Kumar and executed by Deputy Range Forest Officer Devaiah, Siddaramaiah Natikar, Talawar, Medappa and the Rapid Response Team’s Dharmaraju. An FIR has been registered at Kushalnagar Range Forest Office under various Sections of the Forest Act.

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