Factcheck: Was KR Venkatesh who joined BJP recently arrested in the red sanders smuggling case?

Tr Gayathri Srikanth shared on his Facebook page a picture of a Telugu news video saying that a person with Tamil Nadu BJP leader Annamalai and youth leader Vinoj Selvam had been arrested in a red sanders smuggling case. Journalist Senthilvel took to Twitter to ask Youturn about the veracity of the claim.

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Who is he? Was he arrested for red sanders smuggling?

Searching for news in Telugu, the Telugu channel ‘TV5 News’ reported that “Kandasamy Venkatesh, an international red sanders smuggler from Chennai, was arrested in 2015.”

In August 2015, the Deccan Chronicle published a photo mentioning as “Recently, police arrested four top smugglers, including Dubai-based sanders don Sahul Hameed’s son Azharuddin, K. Venkatesh, a rich smuggler, Lakshman, linked to a Bhutan-based module and Jayapal, another smuggler”.

Further searching the arrest of K. Venkatesh by the Andhra Pradesh Police revealed that on July 12, 2016, Dinamalar published an article titled ‘Red sanders smuggling turned into a cottage industry’ says, “Andhra Pradesh police were attacked by KR Venkatesh (42) alias KRV from Padiyanallur, Chennai when they tried to arrest him in connection with a red sanders smuggling case. However, he was arrested by the AP police in the next few months. As a result, he has been stripped of his post as the joint secretary of the MGR youth wing of the Sholavaram Union and has been removed from the post of a basic AIADMK member”.

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When searching on social media pages about KRV or KR Venkatesh, his Facebook page showed that his name, KR Venkatesh (Padiyanallur) is on the list of MGR Youth Team Administrators of Tiruvallur East District published in ‘Namadhu Amma’ Daily in December 2020.

KR Venkatesh has now joined the BJP and posted photos of himself with BJP leaders on his social media pages.

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While searching for the claim photo, it can be seen posted on his Facebook page on May 17. Also, on May 16, Vinoj P Selvam posted on Twitter, “Today shri K R Venkatesan, social activist and entrepreneur joined @BJP4TamilNadu in the presence of Shri @annamalai k. @blsanthosh”.

In our search, KR Venkatesh, a businessman from Padiyanallur, Chennai, was arrested by the Andhra Pradesh Police in 2015 in a red sanders smuggling case. It is evident that KR Venkatesh, who was holding a position in AIADMK, has now joined the BJP in the presence of Annamalai.


International Red Sandal Smuggler Kandasamy Venkatesh Arrested : TV5 News

AP police bust smuggling links 

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