9 tonnes of red sanders meant to be smuggled seized

9 tonnes of red sanders meant to be smuggled to Japan, China seized

The CCB said the pair was part of a large gang that exclusively dealt in smuggling red sanders out of India

Senior police officers inspect the red sanders seized. Credit: DH Photo

Rs 4.5 crore worth of red sanders meant to be smuggled out of India has been seized by the Central Crime Branch (CCB) in southern Bengaluru. 

Two suspected smugglers had brought a sample of the precious wood to Kammanahalli-Gottigere Main Road by an SUV to show to a customer when the CCB raided them around 11 am on Wednesday. 

The suspects — Anand Kumar, 51, a native of Chennai, and Aneel Singhi, 47, of Hulimavu — subsequently led the police to a warehouse on Hommadevanahalli Main Road, where a large quantity of the red sanders had been stored. Police have seized about 9,135 kilograms of the wood. 

The CCB believes the red sanders had been sourced from Andhra Pradesh and Tamil, and was meant to be smuggled to Japan, China and other countries. 

Red sanders is grown mainly in Andhra Pradesh and parts of Tamil Nadu. While the union government has lifted a ban on its export, there are too many procedures that deter the farmers. Smugglers take advantage of this. 

The CCB said the pair was part of a large gang that exclusively dealt in smuggling red sanders out of India. The CCB is looking out for at least two more suspects. 

The warehouse where the red sanders was stored is owned by Singhi. It’s located on the second floor of a multi-storey building, which also houses his own factory. Singhi received rent for the warehouse. 

While Kumar and Singhi claimed that they had joined the business recently, police suspect that this wasn’t the case. The pair had set up heavy machinery at the building to carry the red sanders to the second floor. This means they had been running this enterprise for quite some time. Besides, the factory has also remote-controlled gates. This suggests that it was an elaborate, well-planned set-up that had been in the making for a long time, the CCB said.