The forest department and local police seized 153 logs of timber from the Tarbela Lake in a joint raid on Thursday night.
According to Sub-divisional Forest Officer (SDFO) Farhad Ali, they raided a deserted point near Tarbela Lake close to Gandaf village and recovered 153 logs of fine-quality timber used for furniture and woodwork.
However, the raiding party could not apprehend the smugglers who fled from the scene. The SDFO said that the smugglers were loading the timber on motorboats for transporting them to Khalabat Township to smuggle them south, where they earn handsome profits by selling the timber. He did not provide the detail of total measurement of seized timber or its value adding that his staff would segregate the wood by its quality and then measure each log determining the value of the wood.
Tarbela Lake serves as a safe route for organised gangs of timbers smugglers who are backed by influential figures of Kohistan, Battagram, Torghar and Mansehra districts.
The trees, according to informed sources, are sawed and shaped into wooden logs by timber smugglers within the forest range from where they are transported to the territorial jurisdiction of Haripur via Tarbela Lake.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 10th, 2012.