Neetu Agarwal
Neetu Agarwal

The Andhra Pradesh police has arrested Telugu actress Neetu Agarwal for her close association with red sanders smugglers in the state.

Earlier, police had filed an FIR against the actress when she was found to have been involved with smugglers in the state. Soon after her arrest on 26 April (Sunday), the 27-year-old actress was taken to Allagadda town in Kurnool district and then was produced before a magistrate, who sent her to judicial custody.

Agarwal was also named as an accused in a case booked two months ago in connection with the seizure of 34 logs of red sanders  wood. She was booked on charges of criminal conspiracy under Indian Penal Code (IPC) and other relevant sections of Forest Act.

After seizing Agarwal's bank account, the police found that the actress had been transferring money to alleged smuggler Balu Naidu. The actress allegedly did this on the orders of Mastan Vali, who was arrested a few days back on the same case.

On 13 April, Mastan Vali -- a lemon vendor-turned-film producer and a leader of YSR Congress party -- was arrested for his involvement in smuggling sandalwood and was released on bail on Tuesday. Soon after his arrest, speculations were being made on the connection of the case with the Telugu film industry.

Agarwal has claimed that she is married to Vali and she has been a victim of domestic violence.

Reportedly, Mastan Vali was a lemon vendor until he met sandalwood smugglers in Tirupati. He later rose to be a master in smuggling and tasted instant success in the business.

Soon he ventured to next biggest money making business of movies and produced Telugu movie "Prema Prayanam" in 2013, in which Agarwal played the lead actress. Made on a shoe-string budget, romantic entertainer "Prema Prayanam" was written and directed by debutant Ravikumar.

While the film failed to make a mark, it led to the beginning of a relationship between Agrawal and Vali. Soon, Vali tried his luck with politics and was elected as MPTC for YSRCP party.