Huge cache of willow clefts seized by Excise Department

Team of Excise Deptt. with seized willow cleft at Lakhanpur on Friday. —Excelsior/Pardeep
Team of Excise Deptt. with seized willow cleft at Lakhanpur on Friday. —Excelsior/Pardeep

Excelsior Correspondent
KATHUA, Jan 27: The alert team of Excise and Taxation Toll Post Lakhnapur foiled another attempt of smuggling of 4553 nos of willow clefts from Kashmir to Utter Pradesh today.
The team of Excise Department under the guidance of T. Angchok, Excise Commissioner, J&K and under the direct supervision of  Rajesh Sharma, Deputy Excise Commissioner, Toll Post Lakhanpur thwarted yet another attempt of smuggling of a huge cache of Willow Clefts to outside the State.
The Deputy Excise commissioner Lakhanpur, Rajesh Sharma said that a truck bearing fake Registration No.JK03C-6512 (actual number JK03C-4588) reported at Toll Post Lakhanpur and as per the documents produced it was reportedly loaded with Fresh Fruit Apples consigned by  Dewan Fruit Co Shop No.1134 Phase-2nd, Fruit Complex Narwal Mandi, Jammu-180006 to M/s Chaind Fruit Co New Delhi Sabzi Mandi vide Challan No.509 dated nil. The vehicle was put to physical check and on physical checking, 4553 nos willow clefts were recovered from the vehicle, he added.
He said the team of the Excise Department that performed the task comprised of Excise and Taxation Officer  Ajay Bharti, Inspectors  Deepak Thappa,  Anmolak Singh and  Rakesh Chopra and Sub Inspectors  Ravinder Pal and Excise Guard  Zamrood Hussain.
The driver of the vehicle along with the 4553 nos of  seized willow clefts has been handed over to the SHO Police Station, Lakhanpur for further investigation in the matter. He said the consignment could be handed over to Forest Department for legal action. But we want to investigate the case in depth to arrest the kingpin of willow clefts smuggling. It is worthwhile to mention here that the Toll Post Lakhanpur has been able to detect major haul of willow clefts and has seized 17428 willow clefts during the current financial year