An actress, Neetu Agarwal, was arrested from her Hyderabad home on Sunday morning for allegedly financing red sanders smuggling activities through her lover Kondampalli Mastan Vali, police said. Vali was arrested on April 21 on charges of red sanders smuggling.
Police said Vali is a sandalwood smuggler who turned to producing films before joining the YSR Congress Party.
Officials said the 27-year-old actress was cast in lead role in Prema Pranayam, produced by Vali. “Prima facie we have established that Neetu Agarwal transferred huge amounts to Vali’s bank accounts. He used the money to finance red sanders smuggling. Vali was arrested earlier for his involvement in smuggling and spent six months at Rajahmundry Prison. Some smuggling cases against him are in trial stage,” said Kurnool SP A Ravi Krishna.
He added: “We are scrutinising some bank accounts belonging to suspected smugglers who seem to have transferred Neetu’s share of profits to her accounts. We believe both of them hold secret accounts. We are looking for them and trying to establish trail of other money transfers.’’
Officials said Vali and Neetu, who first met in February 2013, secretly married last year. “Neetu is Vali’s third wife.
He divorced his first wife while his second wife left him and lives separately. They met when Vali offered Neetu the lead role in a film he was producing,” an official said. After her arrest, Neetu told police that Vali forced her to finance his “business” and she had no idea that it was being used for red sanders smuggling.
Officials don’t believe her account, They said that after her first film, she did not get any offers and hence started investing in smuggling activities. “She did get some side roles in films like Pilla Zamindar, but nothing big. She camped in Chennai and Mumbai to look for work but nothing turned up. We believe Vali convinced her that a quicker way to earn money was by investing in the red sanders business. Besides being in love with him, she was also dependent on him in Hyderabad where she had few friends,’’ an official said.