The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence has confiscated Red Sanders under the Customs Act, meant for smuggling abroad from Ahmedabad. On Tuesday, the DRI found the illegal material in a godown in Sanand, Ahmedabad.
According to the reports, DRI seized 4.229 metric tonnes of Red Sanders. The international cost of the recovered material is ₹3.4 crores. Earlier in May, the DRI investigated a case when they seized 14.63 metric tonnes of the same from Mundra Port, Kutch.
While investigating the previous seizure case, the DRI received a lead on hidden Red Sanders in the export containers. The conspirators used the two godowns in Sanand to hide the endangered material beneath the cattle feed bags.
The export container’s label was ‘assorted toilteries,’ which indicates that the conspirators very carefully stuffed the Red Sanders into the container and removed the original product.
DRI officials identified the conspirators using pseudo names and addresses. They also carried out search operations in different parts of the country. So far, the DRI was successful in arresting one person.
Why Is Red Sanders Illegal To Export?
Red Sanders, exclusively found in the Eastern Ghats region of Andhra Pradesh, falls under the Red List for the endangered category of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). It also comes under the Appendix II of the Convention on International trade in Endangered Species of Wildlife Fauna and Flora (CITES).
The endemic species has rich colours, nourishing texture, and therapeutic properties. Its high demand across Asia, specifically in China, is because of its benefit in cosmetics, medicines, and woodcraft. Thus, as per the Foreign Trade Policy, the export of Red Sanders is illegal.