Updated: January 20, 2015 6:26:34 pm
Four Chinese nationals who allegedly ran a Red Sanders smuggling racket under the guise of a furniture business have been arrested by the Bangalore rural district police. The Chinese men have been accused of smuggling Red Sanders worth more than Rs 18 crore in the international market by exporting it out of India in the guise of furniture. The accused persons have been identified as Tan Zi Shui, 51, Tol Shoi Yuan, 45, Yee Shai, 25 and Wei Zhiliang, 27.
The four men came to Bangalore a few months ago on a work permit visa and indulged in smuggling activities, the Inspector General of Police (Central Range) J Arun Chakravarthy said. As part of the investigations of the smuggling racket a police team raided an industrial shed at Pillagumpa Industrial Area near Hoskote town on the outskirts of Bangalore and seized six tons of Red Sanders wood.
Police are investigating the case to identify the role played by locals in the case. The shed where the Red Sanders wood was stored in Hoskote belonged to a person identified as Ramachari who had rented it to a man identified as Rafiq for Rs 38,000 per month, the IGP of the central range stated.
“We are investigating the role of Rafiq in the case,” he said. The police investigation has revealed that the accused persons procured Red Sanders from various sources and stored them in the shed. They created furniture and wooden ornaments with the rare wood and then to smuggled the items to places like China and Japan where Red Sanders attracts a huge value.
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IGP Chakravarthy said that the Bangalore rural district police worked closely with the Andhra Pradesh police, Delhi police and the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) for investigating the case. The police have taken up a case under various sections of the Karnataka Forest Act, the Karnataka Forest Rules and the Indian Penal Code. A police sub-inspector and a head constable from the Sulibele police station under whose jurisdiction the smuggling racket was operating have been suspended on charges of dereliction of duty.
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