Raids on trains coming to Chennai Central station and checks on platforms by Government Railway Police teams this summer has unearthed the activities of what authorities believe is a gang smuggling contraband into Tamil Nadu from Andhra Pradesh. Two passengers, including a woman, were arrested with large quantity of ganja in the last two days.

GRP sources said that at 5 a.m. on Tuesday, a police team intercepted a woman passenger, later identified as Suguna (50) of Madurai, who disembarked from the Howrah Mail at the Central. She had a ticket from Visakhapatnam. Inspection of her travel bag revealed 10 kg of ganja worth Rs. 1 lakh. She was detained and the contraband seized.

“She claimed she got the ganja from an agent who took her into a forest in Visakhapatnam. She then took an unreserved ticket to Chennai and boarded the Howrah Mail and had planned to smuggle the contraband to Usilampatti in Madurai,” V. Ponramu, Deputy Superintendent of Police, GRP, told The Hindu.

There she was to have handed it over to someone for a commission, Mr. Ponramu added.

The woman is known to be an accomplice of Malayan (50), also from Madurai, who was apprehended with 15 kg of ganja, worth Rs. 1.5 lakh, by GRP during the search of Coromandal Express on Monday.

GRP sources suspect the duo are part of gang smuggling contraband via trains from Andhra Pradesh to different parts of Tamil Nadu. Malayan and Sugana, who were arrested and remanded to judicial custody, will be later taken into police custody for questioning.

In 2011, GRP teams seized a total 160 kg of ganja at the Chennai Central. But, the contraband was found abandoned in luggage and packets on platforms and trains. No one was arrested.

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Petlee PeterJune 28, 2012

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