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Police arrest 11 people in red sanders smuggling racket

Eleven people including a policeman and five forest officials were arrested after police busted a redsanders smuggling racket here, police said today.

All the accused–a head constable, 5 forest department employees, two interstate and three local smugglers–were arrested in two separate operations in the district yesterday, for their alleged involvement in smuggling, said Superintendent of Police, P H Ramakrishna.

Also, 29 red sanders logs weighing 1.5 tonnes, 17 cell phones and one four wheeler was seized in the operation conducted in Duvvur Mandal and near Maddimadugu locality in CK Dinne mandal here, the SP said.

Y Alfred, the arrested policeman, who is presently attached to V N police station, earlier worked with the anti-red sander smuggling special task in Tirupathi. He was transferred to Kadapa for his alleged links with smugglers, the police officer said.

The constable was arrested from Duvvur mandal, he said.

Forest assistant beat officer S Subbarayudu, forest watchers–M Sivabramham, C Ganga Mahesh and K Balagopal and C Gangaraju–working in Maddimadugu forest beat, were arrested for allegedly assisting the smugglers, the SP said.

While, Alfred who was acting a conduit for smuggling vehicles for transporting these logs to Bengaluru (Karnataka), Selam (Tamilnadu) and Neemuch (Madhya Pradesh), Subbarayudu and four forest watchers were helping the smugglers in collecting red sander logs from forest and in stocking them in a safe place, he said.

Besides, two interstate smugglers C Amerendra Raju and Nityapoojaiah and two local gang members M Mallikarjuna Naik (Maddimadugu) R Satish Kumar and R Siva Sankar (Kadapa) were nabbed on a tip off based on information gathered from previously apprehended smugglers, the SP said.