Mumbai :  Mumbai Crime Branch on Friday made two more arrests in the Red Sanders smuggling case, taking the total number of arrested accused to 21.

While one of the arrested accused is Anwar Kachchi, an associate of oil mafia kingpin and arrested accused Mohammed Ali Abu Bakar Shaikh, the other is the owner of the vessel MV Ganga Sagar, Yasmeen Ibrahim. Both were arrested from Mumbai itself.

According to sources privy to the case, Kachchi had assisted Shaikh in carrying out this particular smuggling operation while Ibrahim had given his barge, MV Ganga Sagar for the same. Cops are going to further determine if Ibrahim had provided the barge in the past too and if he was aware of what it was being used for. The exact role of Kachchi in this operation is also to be determined.

The smuggling racket was busted in a joint operation by the Coast Guard and the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence on December 4, where they had apprehended two vessels, one being Ibrahim’s and the other being a dhow called, Al Marwan-10 in the middle of the sea. They had seized 23,000 kg Red Sanders worth Rs 9 crore which was supposed to be smuggled to Dubai and from there to China, where it is in huge demand. Sixteen people were arrested by the cops at that time. A day after making the initial arrests, Shaikh too was arrested. He is the infamous oil mafia who is said to be connected with underworld don, Dawood Ibrahim. Cops are still trying to determine the origin of the Red Sanders which is supposed to have come from either Karnataka or Andhra Pradesh.

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