VELLORE: The police on Friday raided the house of one of the associates of the kingpin of the red sanders-smuggling P Saravanan at Otteri.The police team seized 17 kgs of red sanders and confiscated a car from the house.
Acting on a tip-off that a close associate of Saravanan was stocking red sanders logs smuggled from Andhra Pradesh in his under-construction house, the DSP of Katpadi Mathivannan and his team raided the house of Balaji (30), a resident of Keelkalpatti, between 8.30 and 9.30 am.
They found two logs of red sanders, weighing 5 and 12 kgs. Police confiscated the car that was used to smuggle the wood. The total worth of the seized items is estimated to be around `5 lakh
The police registered a case against Balaji and launched a search for him.
Saravanan, a resident of Vasanthapuram in Vellore, had surrendered before the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court in Kancheepuram on Thursday. He was evading arrest for three weeks after the police stumbled upon over `4.04 crore and 73 sovereigns of jewels from his relative Mohanambal’s rented house at Tharapadavedu.
The inquiry into the seizure of the huge haul of money from Mohanambal’s house revealed that they had amassed the wealth by indulging in smuggling of red sanders. The police team were sent to Bangalore, Chittoor in AP, Chennai, Tirunelveli, Villupuram, Mittapalli and neighbouring villages in Krishnagiri district, Palayamkottai, Pochapalli and Ulundurpet, to find Saravanan and others.
In the meantime, the police produced Babu, another associate of Saravanan, before the CJM Court in Katpadi after interrogating regarding the red sanders-smuggling network. The police had obtained the custody of Babu for two days on Wednesday.