Visakhapatnam

Smugglers extracting hashish oil

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They are trying to push it as opium, says excise official

On August 22, a team from the enforcement wing of Prohibition and Excise arrested two persons near Kothapalle in G. Madugula mandal in Visakhapatnam Agency and seized about 19 kgs of sticky black semi solid material.

The officials were puzzled after seizing the material and were not able to comprehend what it was. It was only sending it to their testing laboratory and after getting a report, they realised that it was a concentrated form of hashish oil.

“The arrested persons informed us that it was opium but we had doubts, as we were sure that there was no poppy cultivation in the Agency, and sent it for chemical analysis,” said Assistant Commissioner of Prohibition and Excise (Enforcement) SVVN Babji Rao. I

t is a known fact that cultivation of ganja is rampant in the Agency areas of the district and for the first time in February this year, the police and the Excise officials realised that the ganja smugglers have gone a step ahead by extracting and producing hashish oil from ganja.

“But in this case, the material seized was semi-solid and we were unable to understand what it was, as hashish oil is in liquid form. The analysis report stated that it was concentrated form of hashish oil mixed with a few spices,” said Mr. Babji Rao.

As per the Excise officer, the smugglers were trying to cheat the addicts by pushing hashish oil as opium.

On why they were trying to push hashish oil as opium, Mr. Babji said, “one kg of ganja is being sold for ₹ 4,000 to ₹ 5000 in Visakhapatnam and in Delhi the price of the same can go up to ₹ 15,000 and one kg of hashish oil can cost around ₹ 60,000. But even it comes to opium, the market value can range between ₹ 1 lakh and ₹ 1.2 lakh.”

Sumit Bhattacharjee

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 12:44:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/smugglers-extracting-hashish-oil/article19694923.ece

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