A team of the Excise Enforcement and Anti-Narcotic Special Squad on Wednesday seized 3 kg of ganja and arrested a person in this connection.

Based on an intelligence input, the team led by Excise Assistant Commissioner P.K. Suresh arrested Pookkaran Raju, aka Raju, 54, of Kalluthankadavu, from the mofussil bus station on Mavoor Road. The Excise officials in plainclothes approached Raju seeking ganja for Rs.1,000. As Raju went home to collect ganja from his house at Palazhi, the Excise personnel followed him.

Simultaneously, another Excise team reached the spot and raided the house. The ganja was kept in secret chambers on the floor of the kitchen. The ganja was found concealed in three blocks, each having a capacity to store a kilogram. The blocks had been operated using a hydraulic press, Mr. Suresh said.

He said that Raju had confessed that he used to peddle ganja in the city and suburbs. His main clients included drivers, head load workers, and college students. The ganja recovered on Wednesday was valued at Rs.1.20 lakh in the market.

Raju had earlier been convicted in a similar case. He would be produced before the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Court at Vadakara on Thursday.

Mr. Suresh said that Excise Department had constituted a special squad following reports that drug abuse was on the rise in the city and the suburbs. As many as 59 persons had been arrested in the past six months. The department had registered 57 cases and seized 53 kg of ganja, 189 gm of opium, and 332 gm of brown sugar. Nine vehicles used for transporting ganja were also seized, he said.

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