Shivamogga: In a shocking incident, a Range Forest Officer who went to check illegal sand mining and sandalwood smuggling at a village was overpowered by 11 smugglers in Karnataka's Shivamogga.

The smugglers, who had loaded sand on to 11 trucks and also covered sandalwood with sand in a few trucks, beat-up RFO Kumar and later tied him to a pole and escaped.

Meanwhile, an alert was sounded by officials who arrived chased down the accused persons and managed to catch one person.

The accused was taken to the police station and based on his confession, a case was registered against 11 persons trucks loaded with sand and sandalwood were seized.

The police have launched a search operation and all the district highways have been alerted to keep a check on any suspicious movement to nab the culprits.