DRI Pune Cracks Down on Red Sanders Smuggling Syndicate

The operation unfolded following specific intelligence inputs. Red Sanders, a protected species under the CITES convention, is prohibited for export.
6 tons of Red Sanders concealed behind polished granite slabs and cement bricks
6 tons of Red Sanders concealed behind polished granite slabs and cement bricks

Pune: In a significant bust, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) Pune Regional Unit intercepted a major smuggling operation attempting to export Red Sanders wood disguised as granite marble slabs.

The operation unfolded following specific intelligence inputs, leading to a surveillance mission on the syndicate's activities.

The DRI officers closely monitored the loading of the contraband into a container destined for export through Nhava Sheva port (JNPT). Upon arrival at the port, the container was intercepted and examined, revealing 6 tons of Red Sanders concealed behind polished granite slabs and cement bricks. Red Sanders, a protected species under the CITES convention, is prohibited for export under the Customs Act, 1962.

Following the discovery, DRI initiated follow-up actions in Ahmednagar, Nashik, and Hyderabad based on the intelligence gathered. A subsequent search at a godown in Nashik led to the seizure of an additional 2 tons of Red Sanders, which were also intended for imminent export.

The seized consignment at Nhava Sheva had been stored and prepared for export from the same godown. Additionally, the Importer Exporter Code (IEC) holder and the transporters involved were intercepted during the follow-up operations.

In total, approximately 8 tons of Red Sanders, with an illicit market value of approximately Rs. 7.9 Crores, were seized under the relevant provisions of the Customs Act. Five key members of the smuggling cartel, including the exporter, commission broker, godown manager, and transporter, were arrested and have been remanded to judicial custody.

The DRI reiterated its commitment to protecting environmental security by combating the illegal smuggling of the nation's natural resources.

Key Points:

  • Intelligence-Led Operation: DRI Pune's operation based on specific intelligence inputs.

  • Seizure: 8 tons of Red Sanders worth Rs. 7.9 Crores seized.

  • Locations Involved: Operations conducted in Pune, Ahmednagar, Nashik, and Hyderabad.

  • Arrests: Five key members of the smuggling syndicate arrested.

  • Environmental Protection: DRI's ongoing commitment to safeguarding India's natural wealth.

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