ANANTAPUR: In a major development, Anantapur police on Tuesday busted an international red sanders smuggling racket and confiscated more than 3 tonnes of logs meant to be sent to China.Anantapur superintendent of police K Fakkeerappa said the logs were being smuggled to China via Sri Lanka. The police seized 165 red sanders logs worth Rs 1.5 crore and arrested 19 men in a raid that was conducted at Kodikonda check post on Bengaluru-Hyderabad National Highway.
“A police team, led by Hindupuram rural circle inspector Hameed Khan and Chilamattur sub-inspector Rangadu Yadav under the supervision of Penukonda DSP N Ramya, was conducting regular vehicular checking at the check post when it intercepted five vehicles that were smuggling the logs,” he said.
The gang is believed to be run by two kingpins, Bilal and Sahul Bhai, who live abroad and are involved in the smuggling of red sanders logs to China, the SP added.
The gang was taking the logs from Badvel in Kadapa district to Chennai via Anantapur district in five vehicles. Kamesh, a gang member, was responsible for storing the logs in a godown in Tamil Nadu’s Tindivanam before their smuggling to China via Sri Lanka by water, the police official added.
Two accused, Nandyal Ramakrishna Reddy and J Guravaiah of Tirupati, helped the gang by identifying the red sanders trees in Seshachalam and other forests. The gang had set up their stock points at various places in Kadapa and Chittoor districts.