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Dangerous Nexus with Police, Forest Officials and Politicians

Published: 31st August 2015 04:57 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st August 2015 04:57 AM   |  A+A-

Felling red sander trees and smuggling them is not an easy task. Sources say the nexus of smugglers with police and forest department personnel makes the job easy.

And the bond between the kingpins of redwood smuggling network and politicians, police and forest department officials for mutual benefit is growing. Arrests and disciplinary action against police and forest officials in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh is proof of this unholy nexus.

While former DSP of Prohibition Enforcement Wing of Vellore, K Thangavel, was suspended and later arrested in connection with red sander smuggling, the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh government has placed a DSP of the Red Sander Anti-Smuggling Special Task Force on waitlist for his alleged connection with red sander smugglers.

constructed.jpgRecently, a Sub-Inspector of Police and a constable of the Andhra police department were suspended for receiving bribe from smugglers to ensure free passage for the consignments.

“It’s  the tip of an iceberg,” says a reliable source in the police department, adding that the smugglers pay a substantial amount to police and forest officials at different levels to smuggle out the logs without any difficulty.

For the corrupt officials, the smugglers are like a hen laying golden eggs.  “We pay forest officials so that they do not seize our consignment and also ensure that our vehicles pass their checkposts. The payment is done on an hourly basis,” a woodcutter-cum-transporter informs.

Police have not acted on some of the kingpins of the business. Kerala Babu (alias) Aseem, a top don of the smuggling business, operating from Malur remains untouched. He has connections with top level officials and politicians, it is said. “He was named as a co-accused with DSP Thangavel. The department is not showing interest to arrest him. He is moving freely and continuing his business. At present, he is camping in Chittoor,” says a police officer privy to the investigations.

Another kingpin, Kiruba, is able to continue his activities without any hindrance. He is a top notch smuggler based in Chennai. His brother was arrested recently and nearly 15 tonnes of red sander logs seized from his godown. There are many more Kriubas and Kerala Babus active in the multi-crore smuggling without any hassle.

The government should constitute a multi-agency team to keep a check on this illegal business, and put a stop to the racket, a police official said.

Notorious agents, smugglers in Jawadu hills

Balakrishnan and his brother Shanmugam of Balaprampattu, Vellaiyan and Sekar of Melnammiyampattu, Ramar, Mani and Appasamy of Nammiyampattu, Lognathan (alias) Logu of Muttunattur, Vellaiyan of  Valliyur, Subramani, Alagesan and Ravi of Valliyur are a few of the agents sending youth from in and around their villages, according to reliable sources in the police department. There are several cases pending against them in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

Balakrishnan and his brother Shanmugam of Balaprampattu, Vellaiyan and Sekar of Melnammiyampattu, Ramar, Mani and Appasamy of Nammiyampattu, Lognathan (alias) Logu of Muttunattur, Vellaiyan of  Valliyur, Subramani, Alagesan and Ravi of Valliyur are a few of the agents sending youth from in and around their villages, according to reliable sources in the police department. There are several cases pending against them in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.



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