Red Sanders operatives change tactics to continue smuggling

Red Sanders operatives change tactics to continue smuggling
Highlights

With Red Sanders AntiSmuggling Task Force RSASTF turning the heat on them, the red sanders operatives changing their tactics to continue the illegal smuggling

Tirupati: With Red Sanders Anti-Smuggling Task Force (RSASTF) turning the heat on them, the red sanders operatives changing their tactics to continue the illegal smuggling.

RSASTF well equipped with latest technology coupled with excellent informer network made it tough for the red sanders smugglers particularly the woodcutters from Tamil Nadu, who are key in the red sanders smuggling, entering the forest for felling the endangered trees.

RSASTF has strengthened its anti-smuggling operations with latest equipment including Fingerprint Identification Networking System (FINS), Global Positioning System (GPS), analysis of Call Detail Recordings (CDRs) and tower dumping. The dog squad (sniffer dogs) inducted into task force virtually send the chills down the spine of the smugglers.

The smugglers hitherto easily gathered in desolated places near the entry points of the forests, where they prepare themselves before venturing into the forests but now it was not easy as the task force can track down the smugglers, the moment they reach the forest fringe.

To escape the hawkish eye of the task force, the smugglers now shifting to the parking areas at TTD Pilgrim Amenities Complex (PAC) and pilgrim (tourist) bus station. This are strategic areas nearer to the forest area but always remain crowded with pilgrims making easy for the red sanders operatives posing as devotees gather and also park their vehicles along with the pilgrims to hoodwink the security forces.

RSASTF senior officials were surprised recently to find a vehicle used in smuggling of red sanders logs in the pilgrim parking area in TTD Srinivasam PAC. The sniffer dog helped the task force personnel detect the vehicle in which the marks of logs were found. The task force as part of its wider preventive steps conducts surprise checks in pilgrim areas including bus stand, railway station and also PACs to keep the smugglers at bay.

RSASTF informed the TTD vigilance authorities to keep a tight vigil on the parking areas in pilgrim centres to check smugglers using them.
Apart from shifting to pilgrim crowded areas, the smugglers were also found changing their attire before entering forests. Normally, the woodcutters from Tamil Nadu reach here in the guise of devotees or in a decent dress to look as young employee or pilgrim to avoid the eyes of the police and task force personnel.

RSASTF IG M Kantha Rao said task force combing parties with their experience gained from the last three years in the operations in the forest and outside, perfected in tracking down the smugglers to foil their attempt to enter the forest. “The excellent surveillance system, combing parties, the informer network and the details about all the entry and exist points of the smugglers from Tamil Nadu and their habits, practices including dress etc. naturally led us to have an upper hand.

They cannot enter the forest so easily and even if they succeed to enter, the task force will not allow them go with the logs they bring from the forest,” he said beamingly citing the recent a dozen cases in which smugglers though able to enter the forest to fell down the trees but were forced to flee leaving behind the logs and vehicles while coming out of the forests.

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