VELLORE: The Andhra Pradesh police have arrested a 40-year-old notorious red sanders smuggler Selvaraj of Chennai, along with his car driver Delli Babu, during a vehicle-check on Friday night.
Selvaraj was the fourth person from the city to be arrested in connection with the international red sanders-smuggling racket. The police also confiscated a BMW car and seized four high-end mobile phones, an ICED wrist watch, worth around `35 lakh, along with sample pieces of the wood from Selvaraj.
The personnel attached to Puttur Police Station effected the arrest and seizure between 8 pm and 9 pm on Friday during a vehicle-check conducted by Sub-Inspector Venkatasiva Kumar attached to Narayanavanam Police Station in Chittoor district.
“We seized five samples of the logs, weighing around 69 kg. Selvaraj was proceeding to Chennai from Tirupathi,” Deputy Inspector of Chittoor police N Krishna Kishore Reddy told Express.
On interrogation, the Andhra police found that Selvaraj was part of the international network and had links with several smugglers across the country and abroad. “Selvaraj was carrying the samples to show them to his international buyers. He also told us that a group of wood-cutters had felled a number of trees and chopped them in transportable size. The huge haul had been stocked deep inside the forest of Seshachalam Hills,” said another police officer.
Though the AP police had arrested Selvaraj for the first time, they found that there were several cases filed against him for smuggling the endangered wood. “We have filed a case against him and remanded him,” said a police officer in Andhra. He said the police were planning to take him under custody for interrogation to find out his partners, network and other linchpins involved in the illegal business.