Visakhapatnam

Ganja smuggling on the rise in Visakha Agency, say officials

From May 1 to till date, the police have registered over 20 cases and seized over 15,362 kg ganja.   | Photo Credit: File photo

Ganja smugglers appear to be taking advantage of the partial curfew to ship huge quantity of the contraband from the interior parts of Visakha Agency to other States.

This is evident from the series of smuggling rackets being busted by the district police and the seizure of a huge quantity of the dry ganja.

The district police had registered 101 smuggling cases with the seizure of 16,926 kg of contraband and arrest of 200 persons between January 1 and April 30.

From May 1 to till date, the district and the city police have registered over 20 cases and seized over 15,362 kg (15.3 tonnes) ganja, which includes over 12,000 kg by the district police alone. The police arrested 58 persons in these cases.

For the first time, the city police, a couple of days ago, seized around 3,000 kg near Lankelapalem. The seized ganja is estimated to be worth around ₹4 crore in the Agency areas of Visakhapatnam, but it could fetch close to ₹15 crore in other States, according to the officials.

The recent seizures include around 2,645 kg and 3,040 kg at Sabbavaram, 3,000 kg at Lankelapalem, 2,160 kg at Makavarapalem, 1,920 kg ganja at Narsipatnam and 1,150 kg ganja at Araku. Similarly, the Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB) has also detected a few ganja cases, including around 1,100 kg seizure in Ananthagiri mandal a few days ago.

According to a senior police officer, with the police being busy in enforcing partial curfew throughout the day, the smugglers are suspected to be transporting the contraband camouflaged under loads of vegetables and other daily essentials. Assuming that police have shifted their focus on COVID-19 containment, the smugglers might be resuming their activities, he added.

A few officials from the Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB) said that due to the curfew and lockdown, the consumption of ganja in several States has come down.

‘Good demand’

“Ganja from Vizag Agency has a good demand in several States. As most of the States are suffering due to COVID-19, we assume the sale and consumption of ganja has been hit. With cases coming down gradually and the government increasing relaxation timings, ganja smugglers are anticipating demand in the coming months and are transporting the stock,” said a former excise official, who works with the SEB, Visakhapatnam district.


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Printable version | Jul 29, 2021 6:21:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/ganja-smuggling-on-the-rise-in-visakha-agency-say-officials/article34792918.ece

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