600 kg beedi leaves seized

A gang of beedi leaf smugglers from Alanthalai attacked policemen in plainclothes when they tried to nab them at Amali Nagar beach near here on Wednesday night.

The gang members were loading beedi leaves in two boats when the incident took place.

Since smuggling of turmeric, ganja and beedi leaves to Sri Lanka has increased in the recent past as these products fetch unusually attractive prices in the island nation, police have intensified surveillance along the coastal areas of Thoothukudi district. When Q Branch police received information about smuggling of beedi leaves from Amali Nagar near Tiruchendur, a police team in plainclothes, led by Sub-Inspector J. Jeevamani Dharmaraj, went to the spot on Wednesday night.

When they saw 20 people loading huge polythene bags on two fibreglass boats anchored at the beach, they inquired about the consignment pretending to be passers-by. The smugglers said they were loading beedi leaves packed in 50 bags to be smuggled to Sri Lanka on behalf of Raja of nearby coastal hamlet of Alanthalai.

When the policeasked them to surrender, the gang members, carrying iron rods and other lethal weapons, tried to attack them. However, they managed to escape from the spot and alerted their higher-ups.

In the meanwhile, the boats loaded with 1,275 kg of beedi leaves packed in 34 bags ventured into the sea at high speed as each boat had been fitted with two outboard engines. The gang members left behind 16 bags of beedi leaves, which were handed over to Tiruchendur Taluk police. The bags contained 600 kg of beedi leaves valued at ₹3 lakh.

Tiruchendur Taluk police filed a case based on the complaint from Mr. Jeevamani Dharmaraj.

During investigation, police found that R. Sujai, C. Nizan, C. Pratap, C. Ananth, Carter, D. Cyriac, D. Shraval, R. Simon, A. Liston, J. Asaithambi, J. Arockiyam, R. Anaston, R. Lando, T. Raja Villavarayar, T. Ajith Villavarayar, S. Ajeez, S. Raja, J. Kevis, J. Jackson Lobo, A. Jonas, T. Luxon and a few others, all from Alanthalai, were involved in the smuggling and the attack on the police personnel.

No arrests have been made so far.

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Printable version | Dec 1, 2021 12:58:49 AM |

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