A team of Delhi Police crime branch busted a gang involved in smuggling of banned red and white sandalwood and seized a huge cache of these logs in a joint operation with police personnel from Amroha in Uttar Pradesh.
A two-storey godown named of ‘Anwari Haweli’ was raided and 145 quintals of red and white sandalwood logs were recovered from the spot. Three of the accused have been arrested in the raids.
Qamar Ahmed Ansari and his son Mohd. Shakir Bunty, the owners of the godown and kingpin of the racket, are absconding.
A separate case under IPC sections and the Forest Preservation Act has been registered with the Kotwali City police in Amroha of Uttar Pradesh.
On July 30, the crime branch received information that an individual by the name of Bhole, is involved in smuggling of banned red sandalwood and was running his business from Garhi Mendu area in Delhi.
A police team reached the house and those present were apprehended. A total of 1,797 kgs of banned red sandalwood logs were recovered from this house.
The team headed by Pankaj Arora arrested accused Bhole Ram Kashyap of Lakhimpur Kheri and later Kaushik Kumar Godara of Hisar and Israr Sheikh of Neemuch in Madhya Pradesh were also arrested in the case.
Later a joint raid was conducted by the Special Investigation Unit of Delhi crime branch and Kotwali City Police. The raids led police to the godown of Anwari Haveli in Amroha, owned by Qamar Ahmed. On search of the premises, around 14.5 tonnes of red sandalwood, white sandalwood and catcheu logs were recovered, which are worth Rs 50 crore.
Three accused identified as Arshad Ali Ansari, Mehmood Alam Ansari and Mohd. Salman were arrested from the spot, one of whom is the son-in-law of Qamar Ahmed.
The arrested men revealed that the smuggled goods were sold by them to international buyers in China, Japan and other parts of the world.
At the godown in Amroha, a woodcutter machine was also recovered. Investigation of the case is in progress and the roles played by Arshad Ali Ansari, Mehmood Alam Ansari and Mohd. Salman are under probe.