CHITTOOR (HYDERABAD): Continuing their crackdown on red sanders smugglers, the district police on Thursday arrested three more notorious smugglers who are believed to have links with kingpins in Dubai and other places. The police also seized 21 logs and two vehicles, estimated to the value `22 lakh, from them.
The district Task Force, along with the Nagari and Panjani police, arrested the trio in separate incidents. Among the arrested smugglers is Markondan Lakshman, a most wanted fugitive. Though he originally hails from Manipur, he had settled in Chennai and had been involved in petty offences since childhood.
Later, he started red sanders smuggling with his uncle and was involved in the transportation of logs from Kadapa and other neighbouring states to the borders of Myanmar. Lakshman also maintained godowns at Chennai, Kolkata, Manipur and Kurnool. “Lakshman used to earn about `20 crore per month and spent his earnings lavishly,” Chittoor district superintendent of police PHD Ramakrishna said and added that several cases against him have been pending in the district and neighbouring Kadapa.
Another arrested smuggler has been identified as Hameed Khan of Bangalore. He is believed to have trained notorious smugglers like Riyaz and Fayaz. Khan has been involved in sanders smuggling since 2012 and has godowns in Katikanahalli in Karnataka and Delhi. He has never been arrested till date and faces as many as 10 cases.
The third smuggler who was arrested has been identified as Syed Peeran Mohammed Rafi of Chennai. He was earlier involved in sandalwood smuggling. Rafi is a close aide of a Dubai-based kingpin Sahul and looks after the latter’s dealings in India.
Ramakrishna said the police would invoke the stringent Preventive Detention Act against the trio.