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Tirupati: Red sanders worth Rs 1 cr seized near temple city
In a major haul, the Red Sanders Anti-Smuggling Task Force (RSASTF) on Friday seized 49 red sanders logs and also a truck near the SV Nagar graveyard of Perumallapalli panchayat, near here
Tirupati: In a major haul, the Red Sanders Anti-Smuggling Task Force (RSASTF) on Friday seized 49 red sanders logs and also a truck near the SV Nagar graveyard of Perumallapalli panchayat, near here.
The red sanders logs which were kept ready for transportation were worth about Rs 1 crore in the international market while the huge catch amply revealed that the smuggling of red sanders remaining still far from being controlled from the Seshachalam forests.
Acting on a tip-off, Red Sanders Task Force personnel had been keeping a watch in the forest area behind SV Zoo Park since Thursday evening and seized precious wood as also a truck stationed near the grave yard away from the village, for illegal transportation of the logs that were brought by the smugglers from the deep forests for smuggling them outside the state.
Task Force DSP Venkataiah said that the waiting Task Force team found the smugglers loading the logs they brought from the forest in the truck, near the graveyard, early in Friday morning and tried to nab them but in vain. The alert smuggler escaped leaving behind the logs which were later recovered by the Task Force in the searches in the forest fringe area.
The smugglers were sparing the Sankranti festival which is popular in Tamil Nadu as Pongal indicate that either they were in dire need of earning big money or tried to take advantage of the festival believing the Task Force personnel engaged in festivity, Venkataiah said adding that the alert task force outwitted the smugglers.
He said the searches are on in the forest to trace the escaped smugglers, he said along with the red sanders logs, task force also seized huge quantities of provisions including five bags of rice indicating that the smugglers were readying to go back into the forest after loading the logs in the vehicle for a longer stay of three or four weeks there for cutting the trees in the deep forests, for smuggling them.
He appreciated the team involved in the major operation, including RSI Vasu, Suresh and FBO Johnny Bash who, despite Sankranti festival, engaged in the combing resulting in the capture of big quantity of red sanders logs.
Venkataiah, along with divisional forest officer (DFO) Hima Sailaja, reached SV Nagar probing from where the smugglers were able to bring the logs in big number in the forest and also steps to intensify the vigil on all the entry and exit points in to the forests.