news Wednesday, May 20, 2015 - 05:30
International red sanders smuggler Mukesh Badani, who was arrested in Haryana on Saturday, was brought to Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday and produced in a court, which sent him to judicial custody. Earlier, police questioned Badani at Badvel police station, where a case was registered against him. Police said they would seek his custody for further questioning about others involved in the smuggling. Badani was arrested in a joint operation by Haryana and Andhra Police at Hisar on Saturday, and red sander logs worth Rs 20 crore were seized from his hideout. Badani had allegedly procured these from Rayalaseema districts and shifted them to Haryana from various sources in Hyderabad. A police officer said they acted on the information provided by smuggler Narasimha Reddy, who was arrested recently, and took Badani into custody. Meanwhile, Chittoor district police on Tuesday questioned Chinese red sanders smuggler Yang Ping. The Chinese national was questioned at Putalapattu police station, where he has been booked for attempt to murder and assault on government servants on duty. Police are focusing on his links as some politicians and officials are also suspected to be involved in the racket. In a joint operation, the Red Sanders Anti-Smuggling Task Force and the Chittoor police had arrested 37-year-old Yang in Hyderabad on May 14. Police were also probing the links between Badani and Yang. The arrests are seen as a major success by Andhra Pradesh Police against the international smuggling racket. In another development, police in Kadapa district on Tuesday arrested three red sanders smugglers and seized six logs of the precious wood. Andhra Police in recent days intensified their operations against the smuggling of the rare wood. Police on April 7 had gunned down 20 woodcutters in Seshachalam forests in Chittoor district. The woodcutters from Tamil Nadu were allegedly hired by red sanders smugglers. Also called red sandalwood, the precious wood is used in traditional medicines and woodcraft across China, Myanmar, Japan and other countries of East Asia. A tonne of red sander fetches Rs 20 lakh to Rs 25 lakh in the international market.