Hyderabad: Two red sanders Smugglers caught in Hayathnagar, 137 kg logs Seized :- The LB Nagar Special Operations Team along with the Hayathnagar police busted an inter-State red sanders (sandalwood) smuggling racket and arrested two persons on Friday. The officials, reportedly, seized 137 kg of red sander chips and a car, all put together worth Rs 7.2 lakh from them.
Two red sanders Smugglers caught in Hayathnagar
According to Mahesh Bhagwat, Commissioner of Police, Rachakonda, the police acted on a tip-off to carry out the operation. The arrested persons have been identified as R Uma Shankar (34), an event organiser from SRT Colony in Sanathnagar and a native of Prakasam district in Andhra Pradesh and C Ajith Kumar (26), a truck driver, also from Prakasam district. Both were transporting the wood from Nallamalla forest. However, the kingpin, Kotesh from Andhra Pradesh, is still absconding.
According to the police, Uma Shankar got into the red sanders business for easy money with the help of one Rasool, a smuggler. Initially, after searching for prospective buyers on social networking sites, he supplied around 800 kg of red sanders wood to Narendra Kumawath of Jaipur in Rajasthan and Khurshid.
The police said, “They cheated him by evading the payment after collecting the material. Due to severe financial problems and incurring debt, Uma Shankar decided to smuggle red sanders with inspiration from Rasool, who was arrested in several cases by the police in Andhra Pradesh.”
Accordingly, Uma Shankar met Kotesh, who arranged 137 kg of red sanders chips, each about two-and-a-half feet, from the Nallamala reserved forest area for a price of Rs 400 per kg.
The police further added, “Uma Shanker collected the wood from him with the help of his associate Ajith Kumar. They loaded them in the dickey of the car and were transporting them for delivery in LB Nagar.”
The rare wood which is grown mainly in the Palakonda and Seshachalam hills of Chittoor district of AP, is precious and has a huge demand in East Asia and countries like China and Myanmar, where it is used for woodcraft, and also in making traditional medicines.