Kadapa: Five inter-state red sanders smugglers were arrested and the precious wood worth Rs 2.67 crores was seized from their possession under Chennur mandal in the district, police said on Tuesday.
A godown storing the red sanders was also raided at a village in Mahabubnagar district in the early hours today, they said.
The red sanders anti-smuggling cell of police arrested the five inter-state smugglers of the precious wood near Kondapeta bridge in Chennur mandal of Kadapa last night, Superintendent of Police Dr Naveen Gulati told reporters here today.
The police seized 171 red sanders logs weighing 2.2 tons and 14 kgs red sanders beads worth Rs 2.67 crores, three cars, a lorry, seven cell phones and Rs 4,29,920 cash from them, he said.
The Chennur police has registered a case in this connection under IPC sections 379 (theft), 307, 120(b) and 109 and under relevant provisions of the Forest Act, he said.
Those nabbed have been identified as Thimmasamudram Venkata Reddy (56), Mohammad Ali alias Ali Bhai (55), Jangala Veerabhadraiah (63), Kandula Raja Mohan Reddy (24) and Thimmasamudram Chengal Reddy (28), police said.
Venkata Reddy of Tirupathi, against whom 13 criminal cases are pending in Kadapa, Chittoor, Tirupathi and Kurnool, and Mohammad Ali, the native of Kumbhakonam town in Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu, are the key persons of the gang and close associates of some international and local red sanders smugglers, the SP said.
Veerabhadraiah is wanted in connection with 12 criminal cases, he said.
A stock point of red sanders located at Annasagar of Bhoothpur mandal in Mahabubnagar district was also raided from where 530 kgs of the wood and 14 kgs of its beads were seized, he said.
So far, three godowns of red sanders at Veldurthi and Kalluru in Kurnool and at Annasagar in Mahabubnagar have been raided by police since 2014, Gulati said, adding that police is making all efforts to curb smuggling in the area.