HYDERABAD – A special drive in south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh has helped bring down the wide smuggling of ‘red sanders’, a valuable wood of medicinal properties with a huge demand overseas.
Felling, transportation and sale of red sanders is banned in the country as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) has imposed a ban on its international trade.
Chittoor district police in the state, who launched the drive against red sander smugglers in Seshachalam hill range, have seized as much as 90 tons of the wood till November 1 this year, as compared to 60 tons in the previous year, a senior police officer said.
The red sanders, popularly known as ‘red sandalwood’ grows only in the Seshachalam hill ranges, spread across Kadapa, Chittoor and Kurnool in Rayalaseema region and parts of Nellore in Andhra Pradesh in the country.
As many as 114 cases were booked in connection with the smuggling of red sanders, so far this year in comparison to 66 during 2011. As many as 684 arrests have been made from January this year till date in comparison to the 335 arrests last year and police found that organised smuggling syndicates were operating from Chennai, Mangalore, Bangalore, Mumbai and North-Eastern states and were having their agents in Dubai, police sources said quoting the figures. (PTI)