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Pune cops arrest red sandalwood smuggling kingpin from Navi Mumbai

Jare was produced before a Magistrate Court that remanded him to police custody for seven days.


Cop-criminal connect: The Local Crime Branch officials of the Rural police were hand-in-glove with the smugglers and used to escort them till the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) Port, investigators said . Representation Pic

On January 25, the police had seized 20 tonnes of sandalwood worth Rs 3 crores from two godowns, and Jare was the main accused the case.

Astonishingly, it was found that the Local Crime Branch (LCB) officials of Pune Rural Police were hand-in-glove with the smugglers, and used to escort them till the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) Port.

An inquiry conducted by Additional SP (Pune Division) Vijaykumar Magar revealed that LCB Inspector Nitin Kumar Gokave and his subordinate helped the smugglers.

Besides, it was found out that Gokave, who had received the information about the illegal sandalwood, demanded Rs 1 crore from the smugglers. The amount was later renegotiated to Rs 60 lakh, out of which Rs 15 lakh was paid to him.

According to the police, Jare had escaped days before the raids were conducted on the godowns. The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) had earlier arrested Jare for allegedly smuggling red sanders worth Rs 5.03 crore to Dubai. He was released from jail in August last year.

PI Sushil Kadam of Chakan police station who had unearthed the sandalwood scandal told MiD DAY that Jare was arrested in Navi Mumbai and was brought to Pune for interrogation.  

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