Maoists seek ‘Nokkukooli’ from red sanders rackets
By Toby Antony | ENS | Published: 20th November 2012 10:31 AM |
In a major development, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has received information that Maoists from Andhra Pradesh and Odisha are making money in the form of ‘Nokkukooli’ from the red sanders rackets in the state.
The DRI, which seized 27 tonnes of red sanders from the Vallarpadam container terminal and a ware house in Pollachi, has found out that the wood is cut from the forests in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, which are Maoist hideouts.
Senior DRI officials, the link between red sanders racket and the Maoists came to light after a major haul in AP a few months ago. “These rackets pay money to the Maoists, which is similar to ‘Nokkukooli’ in Kerala. They would permit them to cut wood from the forest area only if the racketeers pay them. Huge quantities of red sanders are being cut in this manner every day,” the officials said.
DRI DySP Sayeed Muhammad said it is only recently that they came to know about Nokkukooli being charged for this illegal activity. Sayeed said the number of red sanders cut illegally has increased alarmingly. These rackets thrive with the assistance of officials in the customs and port along with Maoists, he added.
In the recent case of red sander seizure from Vallarpadam and Pollachi, the DRI had found that five consignments of the wood were being transported from Vallarpadam. These containers were also transported to Dubai after paying money to Maoists, officials in check posts, customs and officials in the port.
The accused in the case Shafeeq from Thalassery, Kannur, Shahul Hameed from Chennai and Moideen are stationed in Dubai. However, DRI officials said they are unable to take action against the kingpins of the racket. “We have information about their locations in Dubai. But, they cannot be arrested because they have not committed any offence in Dubai. We can take action only if they arrive in India,” DRI officials said.