According to Customs officials, they intercepted a Singapore-bound cargo at the Air export shed, based on intelligence. The cargo which was declared to contain 600 cotton bed sheets was packed in 12 cartons were examined, as it was found unusually heavy.
On opening the cartons, wooden cut logs with red color, off white marks were found concealed beneath the bedsheets. Forest officials certified the wooden logs as Red Sanders ‘Pterocarpus Santinalus’. Total 25 cut logs weighing 495 kg of Red Sanders valued at Rs. 25 lakhs were recovered and seized under Customs Act 1962 read with Foreign Trade (D&R) Act.
Red Sanders is classified by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as “endangered” and falls under Red list. The Exporter M/s Omsrisai Enterprises has been detained to ascertain his role in smuggling and further investigation is in progress, said officials.
Red sanders, which are found in southern Indian states are of high demand in the international market and are used for medicinal and decorative purposes.