NELLORE:The Red Sanders Anti-Smuggling Task Force (RSASTF) along with the local police, nabbed 14 smugglers at Rapur, Udayagiri and Somasila after conducting raids and seized 33 red sanders logs worth `55 lakh and eight mobile phones from them.
Disclosing this to newsmen here on Tuesday, OSD TP Vitaleswar said M Subba Reddy (54), B Obulesu (50), A Chinnaiah (36), G Mallikarjuna (32), V Chinnaiah (25), S Dhanavelu (25), B Prasanth (24), P Siva Sankar (35), D Suresh (34), S Balachandra (26), E Venkataiah (48), K Venkataiah (50), B Bujjaiah (45) and S Mahindra were arrested in the raids.
Some of the arrested are inter-state red sanders smugglers. The smugglers tried to resist the simultaneous raids of the task force and the local police by pelting stones at them. Four smugglers were nabbed in Rapur, five in Udayagiri and five others in Somasila police station limits. Of the total arrested, five smugglers belong to Kadapa and the remaining to Nellore district, he said.
Generally, smugglers from Tamil Nadu purchase red sanders logs from the smugglers of Veligonda area and shift the precious wood to the godowns in Chennai. Later, the smugglers send red sanders logs to various parts of the globe in containers using their international contacts.
“Three teams have been formed to nab the smugglers who managed to escape during the task force raids. The police have stepped up vigil in the forest areas to curb the red sanders smuggling. People can inform the police if there is any red sanders smuggling activity in their area through WhatsApp No: 9390777727,” the OSD said.
Red sanders seizure in 2017
No. of cases
No. of arrested
tonnes Red sanders logs seized
Worth of seized logs