Red sanders worth Rs 60 lakh seized

Red sanders worth Rs 60 lakh seized

Two alleged international red sanders smugglers were arrested and two tonnes of red sanders wood worth Rs 60 lakh seized from them, police said Wednesday.

The Central Crime Branch (CCB) sleuths recovered two tonnes of red sanders worth Rs 60 lakh after raiding a couple of godowns in Vidyaranyapura. 

The red sanders were stored and ready to be dispatched to Chennai and Mumbai from where the logs would be smuggled to foreign countries.

Of late, the CCB has been gathering information about an international/interstate smugglers' network operating from the forests of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. The network's SUVs smuggle cut pieces and small logs of red sanders to Bengaluru. The timber is stored in the city for a while prior to dispatch to the ports and harbours of Chennai and Mumbai for illegal export.

The city police on July 28 intercepted a Mahindra Scorpio near Singapura Layout and recovered 471 kg of red sanders. The police arrested Sheikh Anees, 41, from Hospete and interrogated him. Anees took the sleuths to the godowns in Vidyaranyapura where he was supposed to deliver the red sanders. The sleuths subsequently raided two godowns in Vidyaranyapura and seized two tonnes of the priced timber.

The CCB arrested Mohammed Iqbal as well, who confessed that he received the consignments from contacts in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The red sanders will be stored at the godowns before being transported to Chennai and Mumbai, to be smuggled to eastern countries thereafter.

According to the police, the city is now a major transit point for red sanders smuggling as the law enforcers are often busy with other developments while picketing duties are largely ignored, which facilitates easy transportation of consignments to Chennai and Mumbai. The sleuths are aware there are more people involved in the racket. They are in the process of identifying the network's contacts in other states to nab them.