Smuggling of red sanders is rampant on the Tirupati-Bangalore highway and the Chennai-Anantapur highway.
Two incidents of red sanders smuggling were reported on Saturday. In the early hours, a team led by DSP (Armed Reserve) Iliyas Basha and Tiruchanur Circle Inspector T. Sainath intercepted a lorry AP26 W 6799 at R.C. Road Junction on the highway and arrested the driver Erwadi, hailing from Madurai. One-hundred and fifty-one logs weighing 4 tonnes were seized from his possession.
Similarly, the anti-poaching squad of the Forest Department accosted a lorry TN49 AR 6375 near the teak plantations at A.Rangampet. Forest Range Officer M. Krishnaiah, his deputy T. Mallikarjun, beat officers G. Yaganteswar chased the driver and cleaner, but they fled in the cover of darkness. The trees could have been felled in Chamala range, said the Divisional Forest Officer T. Chakrapani. The 160 logs weighed 5.5 tonnes and are estimated to be worth Rs. 30 lakh.