Sahul Hameed is wanted for the trafficking of red sandalwood, one of the most expensive woods on the black market, a trade linked to violence and bloodshed in India. Interpol’s environmental crimes unit considers him to be their top target for crimes linked to deforestation.
The prized variety of red sandalwood only grows in one particular region of the world, and the species has been devastated by illegal forest clearing. One tonne of pine is worth $70, while a tonne of red sandalwood is worth $130,000. This creates a significant motive for criminals who decimate valuable forests.
It was estimated that Sahul Hameed earned more than 120 million dollars in 2015 alone from this illicit trade. He has also been linked to the attempted murder of public officials and law enforcement in India. His heavily armed gangs have terrorized local law enforcement with as many as one hundred major smugglers reporting to him.
Our team speaks to a campaigning journalist as well as the investigators and Interpol, as they trace Sahul Hameed’s links to organised crime and violence. Now based in Dubai, Hameed is out of the reach of investigators. He is the subject of an Interpol red notice which will trigger an alert if he travels to any of the 195 member countries, but for now, he remains at large.
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