Sahul Hamid, a kingpin in red sanders smuggling racket, fled to Dubai 3 years ago; Tirupati police and task force officials pick up his associate
The Tirupati Urban district police will issue a ‘red corner notice’ against Sahul Hamid, a kingpin in the notorious red sanders smuggling racket, who fled to Dubai three years back, after his alleged involvement in a murder case in Chennai.
Though it is well known that the red sanders consignment crosses the country’s shores, the first foreign link was traced on Friday, with the arrest of a most-wanted smuggler Balu alias Balaraju (37) by Chandragiri police and task force officials at Merlapaka of Yerpedu mandal.
Balaraju, a resident of Red Hills in Chennai, is an associate of Sahul Hamid. After working as a lorry driver with a logistics operator, during 2000-08, he joined Hamid’s gang to transport red sanders logs . Investigation revealed that Hamid regularly exported the logs to foreign markets from Tuticorin, Kandla and Bombay sea ports before moving his entire family to Dubai in 2010. Seizing the opportunity, Balaraju tried to develop his own network.
“Twenty cases have been registered against Sahul Hamid and his followers in Tirupati and Nellore district, while we have formed a special team led by Renigunta Rural Inspector Ram Kumar to track them”, the Tirupati Urban Superintendent of Police, S.V. Rajasekhar Babu, told the media on Saturday. A ‘Red Corner Notice’ would soon be issued through Interpol to nab Hamid and prosecute him in the Indian Courts.
He said a cultural team will be formed to sensitise wood cutters resorting to felling of red sanders.