A 52-year-old man has been charged after police raided three properties and allegedly found 200 tonnes of Sandalwood valued at about $1.5 million.
Properties in Baldivis, Myaree and Bibra Lake were raided on November 22 as part of a joint investigation involving WA Police and the Department of Parks and Wildlife into the illegal harvesting and distribution of sandalwood.
Sandalwood is a protected flora in the WA and its harvesting, transportation and purchase is regulated by the Department of Parks
and Wildlife and the Forrest Products Commission.
Police say that without the continued proactive targeting of illegal operators within the Sandalwood industry, there will be significant loss to the future economic growth of the industry.
The black market for sandalwood is thought to be worth millions of dollars.
Most illegally harvested sandalwood is exported out of Australia to Asia, where it is used for medicinal and aromatic purposes.
DPaW’s Nature Protection branch acting manager, Kevin Morrison, said the seizure represented a major step towards protecting the sandalwood resource.
The man has been charged with five counts of receiving.
He is due to appear in Perth Magistrates Court on December 11.