DRI Seizes Red Sanders Worth Rs 11.70 Crore Under “Operation Rakth Chandan”

New Delhi: The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has recovered 14.63 MT of Red Sanders, estimated at Rs 11.70 crore in the international market, from a consignment that was stuffed at ICD Sabarmati, and which was to be exported to Sharjah, UAE.

Intelligence was developed by DRI that red sanders logs were concealed in an export consignment declared to contain “assorted toiletries”, for being smuggled out of the country.

Accordingly, Operation Rakth Chandan was launched and close surveillance was kept on the suspect export consignment.

Acting on the above intelligence, the suspect container was scanned through a ‘container scanning device’ which confirmed the presence of some goods in the shape of logs, and the absence of declared goods i.e. assorted toiletries.

Accordingly, the container was examined by DRI, which revealed that it was fully stuffed with wooden logs of red colour that appeared to be Red Sandalwood. On de-stuffing, 840 wooden logs, having a total weight of 14.63 MT, were found in the container.

No other goods were recovered. Preliminary examination of the wooden logs by Range Forest Officers confirmed that the logs are of Red Sandalwood, which is prohibited for export. Hence, the same were seized under provisions of the Customs Act, 1962. Further investigation regarding the domestic movement of the goods, their transportation and the exporter concerned is in progress.

Red Sanders is a flora species that are endemic to a distinct tract of forests in the Eastern Ghats region of Andhra Pradesh and fall under the ‘endangered list’ in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

Red Sanders is also listed in Appendix-II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wildlife Fauna and Flora (CITES). Its rich hue and therapeutic properties are responsible for its high demand across Asia, particularly in China, for use in cosmetics, medicinal products and high-end furniture/woodcraft. The export of Red Sanders from India is prohibited as per the Foreign Trade Policy.

DRI remains committed to continuing its relentless crackdown against those attempting to compromise the economic frontiers of India and misappropriating her rich natural heritage.


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