The police have noticed a shift in the pattern in which ganja is being brought in and sold in different parts of the district. During the recent drives, in both the city and rural police districts, more locals have been arrested while dealing in the narcotic substances.
“This shift has been noticed in the recent drive. The recent arrests showed that more locals are involved in narcotic trade,” said Satheesh Bino, Superintendent of Police, Ernakulam Rural. Most of the accused arrested earlier were migrant labourers, mostly from West Bengal.
These labourers used to bring in ganja in bulk by train when they returned from their home towns and this was sold in smaller quantities among their communities as well as those who get in touch with them over the phone.
This has now changed to locals sourcing the material from Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. This is brought into the district in trucks that transport goods. “Even though we have information that the material thus brought in is stored in bulk, we are yet to track such mass storage points. We are working on our intelligence networks to spot such points,” said Mr. Bino.
In the last fortnight, the police in the rural district arrested five persons and seized more than 5 kg of ganja in different instances. All those who were arrested in these cases were from local areas and they were operating within close groups, making it hard for the law enforcers, be it the police or the excise, to track them.
This is the same issue faced by the City Police too. “Gathering information is the hard part in fighting the narcotic movement. We have been relying on intelligence gathered by our shadow personnel, as well those collected from persons arrested in narcotic cases,” said Tomy Sebastian, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Special Branch.
The City Police made a major catch a couple of months ago when 20 kg of ganja was seized in two different operations done on the same day. “The drug movement in bulk has come down inside the city limits since we launched a strict drive. Now, cases being registered are for small quantities mostly,” said Mr. Sebastian.