Kolkata, Dec 30 IANS | 10 months ago

At least six crew members of a boat were detained and seven tonnes of red sanders worth Rs.3.5 crore were seized of Haldia coast in West Bengal, the Coast Guard said Monday.


The booty was seized during a joint anti-smuggling operation by the Indian Coast Guard and the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence Sunday.

Following an intelligence input, a Coast Guard hovercraft successfully intercepted and apprehended the suspected boat along with its crew off Bashudevpur near Haldia in East Midnapore district.

"The crew comprising six Indians had loaded the wood at Kolaghat with instructions to deliver the consignment to a merchant vessel anchored off Haldia. The plan was to smuggle the red sanders to Bangladesh through riverine route," a Coast Guard spokesperson said.

The customs department earlier seized red sanders from Jalpaiguri district as well as from Kolkata airport and arrested over a dozen Chinese nationals.

While red sander is not known to have much usage in India, it is a rare and valued item used in traditional medicines and woodcraft across China, Myanmar, Japan and East Asia.

(Posted on 30-12-2013)