The Andhra Pradesh State Red Sanders Anti-Smuggling Task Force (APSRSASTF) personnel on Monday apprehended 14 woodcutters from Tamil Nadu at a forest location between Panapakam and Ithepalle villages, the entry points to the Seshachalam hills.
The police seized axes, provisions and liquor bottles from their possession.
Addressing a press meet at the Task Force office at Tirupati, Deputy Superintendent of Police D. Muralidhar said that acting on reliable information that a batch of smuggling operatives was on the way into the reserve forest to cut red sanders trees, a combing party was pressed into action on Sunday night.
The team which tracked the movements of the woodcutters could finally spot the batch close to the foothills when they were about to sneak into the forests in the early hours of Monday. Despite their efforts to escape from the location, the woodcutters were nabbed by the officials who also seized their belongings.
The official said that by preventing the batch of woodcutters, several valuable red sanders trees were saved from their axes.
The nabbed batch was identified as residents of Jamna Marattur village in Jawadi hills in Tiruvannamalai district of Tamil Nadu.
A case was registered and they were sent for remand.