165 logs weighing 3.3 tonnes confiscated

Superintendent of Police Fakkeerappa Kaginelli presenting the accused before the media at the District Police Office in Anantapur on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: R.V.S. PRASAD

165 logs weighing 3.3 tonnes confiscated

The Anantapur district police on Tuesday busted an international red sanders smuggling gang and confiscated more than three tonnes of logs that were reportedly meant to be smuggled into China.

Superintendent of Police Fakkeerappa Kaginelli, while presenting the 19 persons accused of smuggling the red sanders by collecting them from Kadapa and Chittoor districts, said that the gang used to source the logs from the Rayalaseema districts and store them at godowns in Tamil Nadu. From Tindivanam in Tamil Nadu, the smugglers used to ferry them to China via Sri Lanka.

The accused were transporting the 165 logs in five vehicles from Badvel in Kadapa district to Bengaluru via Kodikonda and Chilamattur. Police said the kingpins of the gang are Shul Bhai and Bilal who stay abroad and make vast sums of money by smuggling red sanders out of the country.

Penukonda DSP N. Ramya along with Hindupur police intercepted five vehicles and found the red sander logs and arrested the 19 persons. Police also confiscated 19 mobile phones along with the five vehicles. Six of the accused hail from Tamil Nadu, while five are from Kadapa, six from Chittoor, and one each from Anantapur and Nellore.

All the accused are in their 30s and 40s. The gang was led by E. Kamesh (42) from Chennai. He is believed to be close to the kingpins, police said. J. Guravayya from Tirupati and Nandyala Ramakrishna from Kadapa would identify the trees and get them cut in the forest, the SP said.

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