November 2nd, 2011
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Naxals smuggling red sandalwood to China & UAE

red sandalwood Kochi: Directorate of Revenue Intelligence has discovered Naxalite links behind the smuggling of red sandalwood which was seized from the ICTT, Valarpadam terminal a few days back. As per the details given in the DRI report The goods were being smuggled to China by naxalites from Andra Pradesh. Further, it was found that sandlawood worth Rs 100 crore had already been smuggled through the Cochin Port. The report was submitted before the Additional Sessions Court (Economic Offences), Eranakulam.

“Red sandalwood valued not less than Rs 100 crore were transported to Coimbatore and then to Cochin Port and the final destination is China. Red sandalwood is smuggled to China for making musical instruments and for home furniture. There is a myth among Chineese people that anyone possessing red sandalwood will be blessed and this has led to the boom in the demand for wood in Chineese market,” said SP Syed Muhamed, senior intelligence officer.

The DRI has found that sandalwood items were smuggled to the UAE and elsewhere through the port . The first accused in the case confessed that he was engaged in smuggling since 2002. Rs 1 crore worth red sandalwood was seized by DRI on October 28, 2011 from a container lorry at the Vallarpadam Transhipment Terminal. Two persons were arrested in connection with the incident.

Driver Shibu and cleaner Raghu hailing from Eranakulam were arrested. The sandalwood was brought to Kerala via roadways from Andra Pradesh. According to documents, the container, when it left Asian terminal, was loaded with rubber mats. But later it was transferred and loaded with red sandalwood and taken to Vallarpadam to be smuggled abroad.

IG Tomin Thachangeri’s brother,Tison Thachankarri is suspected to have a role in the smuggling. The sandalwood was seized from the container belonging to Asian Terminal, owned by ,Tison Thachankarri. The accused in the illegal transportation of sandalwood were Anil Kumar of Olavakkode, KP Shibu of Palluruthi, Shafeeque of Kannur, who is a business man in UAE and Shahul Hameed of Chennai.


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