ED ties up assets of Tamil Nadu red sander smuggler worth Rs 7.4 crore
The ED called R Selvaraj a “recidivist who engaged in illegal activities related to the smuggling of red sanders/sandalwood and other criminal activities”.
Plots, houses and other assets worth a total of Rs 7.54 crore of a suspected Tamil Nadu-based Red Sanders timber smuggler and his family members have been seized under the Anti –money laundering, the Enforcement Directorate announced on Tuesday, March 29. The action was taken against R Selvaraj, whom the federal investigative agency called a “repeat offender who engaged in illegal activities related to the smuggling of red sanders/sandalwood and other criminal activities “.
Adjoining assets include eight residential plots in Aathoor and Pudhu Erumaivettipalayam, Redhills, Tamil Nadu; six agricultural plots in Vallakkottai village of Sriperumbudur district; two houses located at Venus Colony, 2nd street, Chennai and Krishna Nagar, Saram Revenue village in Pondicherry and movable property worth Rs 2.07 crore in the name of Sanjana Metalware India Pvt Ltd. The book value of these properties is Rs 2.74 crore while the present “market value” is around Rs 7.54 crore, the ED said.
The ED statement said Selvaraj “has earned cash proceeds of crime over the years from these illegal activities.” “He invested the money thus earned in real estate and in the form of paid up capital, unsecured loans etc. in his related company Sanjana Metalware India Pvt Ltd.” He further added, “The investigation established that the said assets were illegally acquired from the proceeds of crime generated from the illegal activities related to the smuggling of red sanders/sandalwood and other criminal activities… “, he added.
Selvaraj was first booked for these activities by Andhra Pradesh Police (Chittoor District) and Chennai Customs Department, following which the ED filed a criminal case against him under the law. on the Prevention of Money Laundering (PMLA).
The two departments are also filing separate indictments against him, and although Selvaraj was “detained” under the Currency Safeguarding and Contraband Activity Prevention Act (COFEPOSA), he was also charged with have violated the Customs Law, the Wildlife Protection Law and the Biodiversity Law. and gun law, ED said.
Red Sanders is listed in Appendix II of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) and its export from India is restricted in accordance with the country’s foreign trade policy.