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DRI seizes red sanders headed to China
Nearly 12 tonnes of red sanders logs, which were being smuggled to China from Chennai by sea, were seized by the Chennai unit of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence. The market value of the consignment is around Rs 5.28 crore.
The DRI received specific intelligence inputs that red sanders logs, the storage and sale of it is prohibited, was being smuggled through containers from Chennai Port. Following this, officers began surveillance on containers that were being loaded on ships bound for Shanghai, China, a country where there is a huge demand for the wood.
The team began identifying containers as they entered the port, much before they were loaded to the vessels for sailing. That is when they found one container, which claimed to be carrying rubber hydraulic hose, with Shanghai as its final destination, about two weeks ago.
When it was examined in detail in the presence of officers from the state Forest department, they found that the 20-feet long container had red sanders logs stuffed inside. In all, there were 11.75 tonnes of the wood, which has an estimated market value of Rs 5.28 crore, said a statement from the DRI. The documents submitted before Customs for clearance of the consigned were found to be forged, the statement added.
Red sanders or Pterocarpus santalinus, found only in few places like the south eastern part of the Indian peninsula, has high demand in China where it is used in indigenous medicines. The export of the wood in log form is prohibited in India.