Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh Police have arrested a Chinese smuggler of red sanders, officials said Friday.

The Chinese identified as Yang Ping was arrested by police in Hyderabad late on Thursday night. A police team of Chittoor district took him into custody and he was taken to Chittoor to be presented before a district court.

The details about the arrested smuggler were not immediately available.

The arrest has brought to the fore the role played by Chinese mafia in smuggling the rare red sanders from Andhra Pradesh, the only state which produces the precious wood.

As many as 55 Chinese nationals were arrested for being in possession of red sanders by the Indian police since 2013. The latest arrest is being seen as a major success for Andhra Pradesh Police, which last month gunned down 20 woodcutters in Seshachalam forests in Chittoor district.

The woodcutters from Tamil Nadu were allegedly hired by red sander smugglers operating from that state.

Also called red sandalwood, the precious wood is used in traditional medicines and woodcraft across China, Myanmar, Japan and other countries of East Asia.

A tonne of red sanders fetches Rs.20 lakh to Rs.25 lakh in the international market.