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Smuggled red sanders caught at Chennai port

About 40 metric tonnes of red sanders worth Rs 16 crores which were about to be smuggled to Malaysia from Chennai Port were seized by officials of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence last week.

Following a tip-off, DRI seized four containers in the intervening night of August 24 and 25. The smugglers declared that the containers contained export cargo consignments and got it sealed at the Container Freight Station (CFS). But, the seal was tampered and red sanders wood was loaded when the containers were being transported to the port from the freight station.

All containers were 20 feet in size. Export of red sanders in any form is prohibited by Indian laws.

In a related development Andhra Pradesh government have stepped up the vigil over the transportation of workers from neighbouring Tamil Nadu who are deployed for cutting the expensive redsanders wood from the forests in AP TN border.

The drivers of Tamil Nadu government run buses have been warned by the AP border police that they will be arrested if they are found transporting workers to the forest area and buses will be impounded. Combing operations are also on by the AP Border police in the pilgrim towns of Tirupati and Kalahasti in search of Tamil workers.

The AP Border police have already impounded a Tamil nadu government bus and arrested the driver on charges of transporting workers to the forest. Political storm broke out last year when AP police shot dead six Tamil workers in an encounter who were alleged to be involved in smuggling of red sanders.

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