TIRUPATI: Charges under the Preventive Detention (PD) Act have been slapped on Ravi Somu, a red sanders smuggler from Chennai, following the Collector’s directives here on Tuesday.
Ravi has been named as an accused in 23 cases registered in various police stations in Chittoor district for various charges, including felling red sanders trees and shipping the logs illegally to foreign countries. He has even been convicted and jailed in one case.
As the police considered the offences serious and caused damage to national heritage, they sought clearance from the Collector to charge him under the more stringent PD Act.
Additional SP (Urban) S Thrimurthulu said Ravi belonged to Sastri Nagar in Chennai and was facing trial in many red sanders smuggling cases.
In the latest case on January 27, 2015, Ravi was caught red-handed on Koduru-Renigunta road, along with 10 others, while trying to smuggle red sanders logs. The logs were gathered from the forest area 5 km away from Tumbura Theertham crossroads. Twenty-eight logs, a two-wheeler, a car and a lorry were seized from them. Ravi was named as accused No: 3 in the case.