Anantapur: In a major breakthrough, Mydukur police on Monday nabbed two international red sanders smugglers and took a head warden in the prisons department on charges of nexus with smugglers in Kadapa district.
Police said Pranab Kumar Dev Barman and Brijesh Kumar Sharma from Alipur district in Bengal were the kingpins of a red sanders smuggling racket. They organised smuggling of the precious wood to Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, Myanmar and China. They ahd smuggled more than 500 tonnes logs, police said.
“Without Pranab and Brijesh, it will become difficult for the smugglers to sell the red sanders abroad,” said Kadapa SP Babuji Attada.
Briefing reporters at Kadapa, he said that the two smugglers had developed nexus with Palagiri Mohammad Mubarak, head warden, Chittoor district jail, while he was working at Kadapa prison in 2006. Mubarak helped the smugglers get bail. Mubarak is presently working at Chittoor.
Following a tip-off during the recent arrest of a few smugglers, police teams kept vigil on the smugglers and Mydukur police nabbed Barman, Birjesh and their aides Gangula Prudhviraj Ku-mar Reddy of Yerra-gudidinne in Kurnool district and Yeguri Bhaskar of Nachaneri, Yerpedu mandal in Chittoor district. The police seized 1.1 tonnes of red sanders logs, two cars and foreign currency from them.
Barman was a mechanic who turned a smuggler and was involved in 19 cases in Kadapa district. This was the first time he was caught by the police.
Brijesh was Barman’s partner and was involved in 15 cases pertaining to red sanders smuggling. Kumar Reddy, settled in Hyderabad, smuggled over 300 tonnes of logs from Seshachalam forest.
Mr Babuji said steps would be taken to attach his properties as per the amendment of AP Forest Act, 1967....