ANANTAPUR: A tea supplier and house keeper from a five star hotel in Andaman turned as top red sanders smuggler owning over Rs 70 crore worth of immovable property, enjoying luxurious life with a flat along with helipad and swimming pool at Chennai. Kadapa police were shocked to find the illicit properties of Chennai-based smuggler A.T. Maideen alias ATM who earned huge properties in span of few years.
Kadapa SP Bapuji said A.T. Maideen was a native of Nagore, Nagapatinam district in Tamil Nadu. He studied up to Class X. Later, he went to Andaman in 1987 and started working as a tea supplier cum house keeper at a five star hotel. “During his working at the hotel he became acquainted with a guest coming from Singapore (couple) on business trip. Later with the advice of the Singapore couple in exporting seashells, he also happened to gain experience in exporting materials to foreign countries,” the SP said. ATM returned to Chennai in 1990 and started his own export business by opening an agency.
At the beginning he used to export sea food, sea shells and vegetables and earned money. Later, he came in contact with several red sanders smugglers from Chennai city especially Red Hills smugglers who migrated from Myanmar to Chennai. “He became a crucial link between the international smugglers from China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Dubai and smugglers from India. As per his confession, he has been into the smuggling activities for the last 20 years. Initially he smuggled sandal wood and other materials to the foreign countries,” the Kadapa SP briefed.
Maideen also had links with Kollam Gangi Reddy, Darbar Basha and some others from Kadapa District and Venkat Reddy from Tirupati. Kadapa SP said ATM figures as an accused in 75 cases of Kadapa district and smuggled more than 3,000 tons of red sander logs. The tea vendor who turned smuggler visited more than 11 countries so far. He visited Singapore more than 40 times and Dubai 20 times and it speaks about his lavish life style. Kadapa police seized four high end model cars BMW, Nisan and also a ton red sander logs during raid in Kadapa district. SP said properties were identified at various parts of Chennai and Pondichery worth more than Rs.70 crore. Steps would be taken to attach his properties as per the new Amendment of AP Forest Act 1967.