KOCHI: The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has arrested two persons from Mangaluru who were facilitating smuggling of red sander wood smuggling via various ports from India to abroad.
Though DRI officers were tight-lipped on the arrests, Intelligence Bureau officers said Mangaluru residents Abdulla and Elias were nabbed as part of the probe into the recent seizure of a consignment of red sanders from the International Container Transhipment Terminal (ICTT), Vallarpadam.
Elias was arrested around four days ago. “Elias possessed an import-export licence using which smugglers were sending red sanders and restricted goods abroad,” an officer said.
Elias’ interrogation unearthed the role of Abdulla who was nabbed on Tuesday night. “Abdulla was one of the key persons who supplied red sanders to various gangs. He managed logistics to send out red sanders for smugglers from different ports. Mostly, the Mangaluru port was used for smuggling,” the officer said. Abdulla was produced before the Ernakulam Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate at her residence on Tuesday night itself and remanded in judicial custody.
Though Elias is also in judicial custody, DRI has decided to seek their custody from court later.
“More arrests are imminent in the coming days. So, the DRI team has decided to interrogate Abdulla and Elias after other accused persons are arrested as well,” an officer said. DRI and other intelligence agencies possessed clear information regarding those behind the red sanders intercepted from Vallarpadam.
“A Mumbai-based racket is involved in this. It is very active in supplying red sanders to agents in Dubai from where the consignments are diverted to Hong Kong. The racket has been involved in smuggling red sanders and its members are wanted in cases registered in other places as well. DRI and other Central agencies are tracing the members of the racket,” the officer said