Madurai

Police freeze assets of ganja smuggler’s relatives

THENI

Assets including movables and immovables worth around ₹ 22.50 lakkh, purchased by the relatives of a ganja peddler, has been frozen as per the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act 1985, said Theni Superintendent of Police Dongare Pravin Umesh here on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters, he said that Murugan alias Keeripatti Murugan, 52, a habitual offender, was arrested in April 2017 and the police seized 220 kg of ganja from his possession. Based on his confession, the police registered a case and arrested him. In May 2019, the Essential Commodities Act Court in Madurai found him guilty and sentenced him to undergo 10 years of rigorous imprisonment with a fine of ₹ one lakh.

Under these circumstances, as per the instructions from the Inspector General of Police (south zone) Asra Garg and DIG of Police (Dindigul Range) Rupesh Kumar Meena, a special team led by DSP Ramalingam conducted discreet probe with regard to the assets purchased by some relatives of Murugan.

It was found that Murugan’s brother-in-law, identified as Nagaraj, had a house worth ₹ 12 lakh, his another relative had acquired a vacant site worth ₹ 10 lakh and a two-wheeler worth around ₹ 38,000. Based on the inputs gathered by the teams and the confession, the assets were frozen, the SP said.

Prior to this case, the police here had frozen seven bank accounts of an accused from a case reported in Odaipatti police station, Mr Umesh said and added that so far in this year, 66 ganja cases had been booked in the district. About 335 kg of ganja had been seized, 15 vehicles impounded and 123 persons arrested.

On his recommendations, the Collector had ordered detention of 17 under the Goondas Act till May 17. The police would keep a close watch on suspects dealing with narcotics and warned of dire consequences as per the laws.

The SP said that sale of ganja is illegal and it created disorder in the society. He said that the ganja menace was being dealt with an iron hand.

He said “we have a special team to raid and seize the contraband. If any accused was found to be using bank accounts or digital wallets for the crime, the accounts would be identified and kept on hold. Repeat offenders are detained under the Goondas Act. Freezing the assets was the biggest deterrent as it enabled the police to forfeit the property earned through illegal means not only of the accused but the property acquired in the name of their relatives as well,” he added.


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Printable version | Jun 24, 2022 3:53:47 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/police-freeze-assets-of-ganja-smugglers-relatives/article65456385.ece