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Task Force arrests 897 red-sander smugglers in 2018

Task Force arrests 897 red-sander smugglers in 2018
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Redsanders Antismuggling Task Force RSASTF arrested 897 smugglers in the operations in 2018 in which a total of 5807 redsander logs weighing 123 tonnes and 244 vehicles were seized

Tirupati: Red-sanders Anti-smuggling Task Force (RSASTF) arrested 897 smugglers in the operations in 2018 in which a total of 5807 red-sander logs weighing 123 tonnes and 244 vehicles were seized.

According to a report from the Task Force, it registered 337 cases while PD Act was invoked against 23 notorious smugglers involved in several cases of red-sander smuggling.

The department introduced latest technology like FINS (Fingerprint identification net working system), GPS (Global Positioning System), CDRs (Call details recording) and strengthened software.

It has to cooperate with other departments like police and forest in six districts in the State under the purview of RSASTF and also with the officials of neighbouring Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. It brought down the smuggling significantly this year, said RSASTF Inspector General Dr M Kantha Rao.

Sniffer dog squad also used to supplement red-sander anti-smuggling operation and helped the force many times to detect the hidden red-sander logs. It is to be noted that majority of the arrested (525) were from 14 districts in Tamil Nadu while. The cases relate to Thiruvannamalai (187) Vellore (115), Salem (82), Villupuram (58) and Chennai 35) in Tamil Nadu.

Rao said several coordination meetings with other departments were held, inter-state coordination meetings with Karnataka and Tamil Nadu police and the Southern Regional Coordination Committee meeting were held in Bengaluru in September last, in which DGPs of Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and AP participated.

The task force was nearly able to check the entry of smugglers into the forests, he said and vowed that they will strive to further reduce smuggling in coming years.

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