Enforcement Directorate to look into sanders racket

ED to look into sanders racket: International smugglers and freight agencies involved.
Hyderabad: The state government has sought an Enforcement Directorate probe into red sanders smuggling by Chinese nationals after preliminary investigations found not only the involvement of foreign nationals but also of international freight agencies and a chain of middleman as well money transactions among international smugglers.
Hyderabad divisional forest officer D. Nagabhushanam has sent a request to the joint director of Directorate of Enforcement to take up further investigation.
So far nine persons, including five Chinese, were arrested for the smuggling of both red sanders and sandalwood and were sent to Cherlapally jail in August 2013.
The Forest department said that the wood consignments are routed to China via Hong Kong in violation of convention of international trade in endangers species.
The racket was exposed when the Nacharam police had arrested smugglers by intercepting a TNT courier vehicle and arrested three Chinese nationals.
One of the accused, TNT delivery man M. Santosh Kumar, had revealed that the material was to be delivered to Hong Kong but was rejected by airport authorities and was brought to Nacharam to hand over to the persons who had booked it. Six cartons of red sanders and sandalwood were seized. On further probe, cops seized seven more cartons of red sanders in Tarnaka. A large amount of American, Myanmar, Bhutan, Malaysian, Korean, Chinese and Indian currency had also been seized.
The cases were booked for illegal transportation of sandalwood and red sanders under Section 32 of AP Forest Act and AP Sandalwood and Red Sanders Possession rule, Biological Diversity Act and and violation of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species).
( Source : dc )
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