Four times in the last two weeks, red sanders smuggling rackets were intercepted by the security agencies in various parts of the country. The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), customs officials and the Forest Department seized red sanders from Mangalore, Mumbai and Hyderabad ports and from here on Saturday.
According to the DRI officials, the various agencies had seized more than 30 tonnes of red sanders from various parts of the country in the last two weeks. They said that, as the smuggling rackets are being abetted by the customs officials, more such activities are expected to occur in the coming days.
DySP Sayeed Muhammed, DRI, said that the punishment for smuggling red sanders is minor. Thereby, those who are charged with the offence would continue to be in the same business. “According to the Customs Act, the smuggling of red sanders is a bailable offence and the offender would be jailed for a maximum of one month’s time. He would engage in the smuggling business again after the release and paying the fines. Anil, a kingpin of the racket, was arrested over four times, but he still continues to smuggle the good to Dubai,” the DySP said.
With the price of red sanders increasing considerably in the international market, the rackets are active than ever these days, the DRI officials said. They suspect that the logs which were seized from Andhra Pradesh were cut from the forest with the assistance of Maoist organisations there. With the medicinal purposes of red sanders gaining popularity, it is sent to Hong Kong, Japan and China via Dubai. The good is in high demand for making furniture and musical instruments and is also considered as ‘divine wood’.