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Red wood Smugglers change routes to skip cops

Red Sanders TreeKadapa: Red sanders smuggling goes on unabated in YSR district as smugglers have changed routes to export the precious wood to Chennai and Bengaluru. Earlier, smugglers used to export red sanders from Kadapa to Chittoor district.

But frequent raids by poli-ce and forest officials compelled the culprits to smuggle these through Kadiri. Smugglers are often transporting them under papayas, mangoes and cotton in vehicles.

According to sources, a mafia operating from Puliv-endula, Chakrayapeta, Vempalle, Galiveedu and Rayachoti is exporting wood to Chennai port through Kad-iri. Initially, smugglers were dumping wood along the di-strict borders and exporting them to destinations by ass-essing police movements.

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Forest officials said that smugglers opted to export wood via Kadiri as was evident with several vehicles caught by them. They detected illegal transport after vehicles carrying logs met with accidents or halted due to repairs. About 10 such vehicles were caught by police in Kadiri area since two months.

It is learnt that logs are ex-ported from Gandikshetr-am, Vemulagondi and Mai-rada villages to Kadiri. This illegal trade is flourishing in Galiveedu and Nambulaku-nta areas. Some fraudsters are smuggling wood along Talupula, Velichemla, Rek-kamanu, Gootybailu, Kokk-anti crossroad to reach Karnataka. The supply chain has a strong nexus with gangs operating in Nepal, Myanmar, China, Japan and Germany. Despite official patrol and vigilance, the illegal business is going on unabated with only a few cases reported in the district when vehicles meet with accidents.

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Smugglers were choosing stolen trucks without number plates for the illegal trade. Lack of coordination between Kadapa and Anantapur district forest and police officials has resulted in the spurt in illegal exports.

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