NEW DELHI: The Delhi police on Monday arrested two Chinese nationals in connection of red sandalwood smuggling worth Rs 1.25 crore.The gang has three members all of them arrested by the police.
The trio arrested were identified as Manvar Singh Negi (30), Ozhanmin Gai (54), and Cheng Hu Hua (43). While Negi, who was driving the mini truck loaded with around 2725 kg of red sanders, is a native of Utttarakhand, Gai and Hua are both residents of China, said Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ravindra Yadav.
Red sandalwood or Red sanders, a prohibited item for export, are a banned item in the list of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Still, it is highly traded illegally in the international market.
The wood costs about Rs 3,000-5,000 per kg in India and is in high demand at much higher price in China, Japan and other East Asian nations where it is reportedly used in the manufacturing of herbal aphrodisiacs, said the officer.
Based on a tip off, the police laid a trap near yesterday afternoon and the mini truck approaching from ITO was flagged down. A search of the vehicle led to recovery of red sanders logs loaded on it.
A case under various sections of IPC and relevant sections of Indian Forest Act, 1927, has been registered at Crime Branch police station in this regard and investigation is on to trace the suppliers of smuggled red sanders and its purchasers, added the officer.