The Bangalore City Crime Branch (CCB) police nabbed a red sanders smuggler and seized a huge amount of red sanders in the city on Wednesday, 6 May.
Acting on a tip off, the Bangalore CCB police raided a house near Karnataka Bank -- behind Satellite bus stop -- in Byatarayanapura on Wednesday afternoon. They arrested a person named Varun Kumar and another person, who is said to be the mastermind, is absconding.
"The police have seized one tonne Red Sanders, a weighing machine, a cutting machine, 25kg duplicate ghee, one tin dalda, one tin oil, 3 stoves, a gas cylinder, 15 empty boxes, a motor cycle and vessels. A man named Varun Kumar has been arrested, while another person named Ramesh, who is the mastermind, is absconding," sources from the CCB told IBTimes India.
The smugglers were exporting the Red Sanders to China via air. "They used to bring red sanders from Chittoor and Nallamallur forests in Andhra Pradesh. They used to cut as per the size, dimension and design required to their customers in China. They were sending through air route," the sources added.
Red sanders cost a high price of ₹10 crore per tonne in China. They cost around ₹3,000 per kg, according to Indian Customs officials. "The sanders are worth of ₹27 lakh," said the sources.
This smugglers' gang was also involved in producing and supplying duplicate ghee. "They were supplying duplicate ghee to marriage and other big events in the city. They were selling the ghee under label of Anjali and Krishna," added the sources from the CCB. The police are now interrogating Varun to get more details.
Cases of red sanders smuggling have increased since 2011. Recently, a few red sanders rackets were busted in Tirupathi, Hyderabad, Ahmadabad and Bangalore. The police had arrested some smugglers and also seized a huge amount of red sanders. The latest case is the third raid in the city.
In December 2014, the Bangalore police had arrested 21 persons from two gangs, who were involved in smuggling and also seized wood worth ₹36.41 crore. In March 2015, the city South police had arrested four people besides recovering around 40 kilograms of red sanders.