Red sanders smuggling racket busted in Mumbai; four people held with logs worth ₹2.85 crore

The DRI’s Mumbai zonal unit officials said they intercepted two containers at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust in Nhava Sheva on Sunday

mumbai Updated: Mar 08, 2018 01:11 IST
Vijay Kumar Yadav
Vijay Kumar Yadav
Hindustan Times
The seized logs were supposed to be smuggled to Dubai.(HT)

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has busted a red sanders smuggling racket and arrested four people. It has seized 7.1 metric tonnes of red sanders worth Rs2.85 crore from them. The seized logs were supposed to be smuggled to Dubai.

The DRI’s Mumbai zonal unit officials said they intercepted two containers at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust in Nhava Sheva on Sunday. On examining the containers, 7.1 metric tonnes of red sanders (grade A) worth Rs2.85 crore were recovered.

The red sanders was concealed in bags containing 42 tonnes of Indian yellow maize and stone slabs. Maize was declared on the shipping bill.

The arrested people were Sujit Satam, Gaya Prasdad Chaudhary, Kamlesh Ghoghale and Rohan Awasare. Satam is said to be the mastermind of the racket. He has been arrested previously by DRI in red sanders smuggling case. His elder brother Ajit Bapu Satam too is a notorious smuggler of red sanders. He was arrested by DRI in 2001 for smuggling cigarettes and in 2006 for trying to export red sanders.

Talking about the modus operandi in this case, a DRI official said the accused will take export containers carrying foodgrains to an isolated factory outside Mumbai where the containers will be filled with red sanders logs.

For this, they had engaged Rohan Awasare, an expert who would remove the rivets/clamps of the door handles of the containers without disturbing the customs seal.

The other two were involved in the procurement, transportation, and concealment of red sanders.

They have been booked under relevant sessions (smuggling) of the customs act and the Indian Penal Code Act (forging shipping documents pertaining to the export).

First Published: Mar 08, 2018 01:11 IST