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Ganja worth ₹2 cr. traded online on the pretext of Stevia Leaves to MP, Rajasthan

9 persons arrested in the racket; NCB takes up the case

February 02, 2022 10:39 pm | Updated 10:39 pm IST - VIJAYAWADA

A gang which allegedly traded marijuana on various e-commerce platforms, has supplied the contraband worth more than ₹.2 crore to Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, from Andhra Pradesh.

Smugglers reportedly used fake GSTN numbers and marketed ganja through Amazon, from Visakhapatnam Agency area. They maintained two godowns en route — at Kancharapalem area and at Bhind district of Madhya Pradesh — Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB) personnel said.

Following a case booked by by Gohad Chouraha police of Bhind district, Madhya Pradesh, under NDPS Act, a couple of months ago, the Visakhapatnam SEB police too registered a case, and brought the kingpins of the racket, Suraj Pawaiya and Mukul Jaiswal of Madhya Pradesh, on PT Warrant.

As per the directions of Director General of Police (DGP) D. Gautam Sawang, the case has been transferred to Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), as the drug racket reportedly had links to different States, said SEB Commissioner Vineet Brijlal.

SEB police so far arrested nine persons, including the outsourcing staff (pick up associates, driver, supervisor and team leader) of Amazon and two persons from Madhya Pradesh in the case. The accused had chosen online trading to evade police, Mr. Vineet claimed.

The accused were allegedly booking consignments on the name of Babu Tex, on Amazon online shopping portal, on the pretext of Super Natural Stevia Leaves (which is used as a sugar substitute as sweetener in food, beverages and tea).

“As per the documents and the way bills seized by the SEB, the gang has an organised network in Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, and so far smuggled two tonnes of marijuana,” said SEB Director P.H.D. Ramakrishna, who monitored the investigation in the case.

The SEB seized an electronic weighing machine, dry ganja and card board boxes used for packing the contraband, polythene bags, webbing tapes, three pick up vans, three trucks, one two-wheeler and other material during the raids, Mr. Ramakrishna said.

“On the original bills, the firm management mentioned the charge at ₹180 per 2 kg packet. But, during investigation it was revealed that they had collected ₹10,000 per each packet,” the SEB Commissioner said.

Though some staff alerted the supervisors and the team leaders on the alleged smuggling of ganja on the name of Natural Stevia Leaves, the management had reportedly ignored the alert with vested interests, the Director said.

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