Andhra Pradesh

Gutkha, ganja smuggling racket unearthed

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Kingpin, operating from outside State, among six held

The Nellore police have busted a gutkha and ganja smuggling racket with the arrest of six members of an inter-State gang, including the kingpin C. Anji Babu, and seized three truckloads of contraband from them.

The seized contraband was worth about ₹70 lakh and the vehicles used for transport were valued at ₹62 lakh, Nellore Superintendent of Police Bharat Bhushan told a media conference here on Sunday.

The accused were remanded in custody on Sunday.

The 52-year-old Anji Babu, who had been shuttling between Chennai and Bengaluru and evading arrest for a long time, was nabbed by a special police team at Labour Colony at Nelaturu, near Muthukur on Saturday besides five of the 23 other accused in connection with smuggling of banned tobacco products from Karnataka to various places in Nellore, Prakasam and West Godavari districts for further distribution, the SP said.

In all, 10 kg of ganja and 11.38 lakh packets of guktha and other banned tobacco products of different brands were seized. The others nabbed were T. Mahendra (39), Suman (29), Chinnapareddy Rajendra (50), G. Srinivaslu Reddy (38) and C. Vijayakumar(22), all from Nellore district. The kingpin hails from Kattubadipalem village, near Buchireddypalem in SPSR Nellore district. He shifted his residence to Chennai and from there to Bengaluru.

Wide network

The SP said Mr. Anji Babu had entered the banned gutka, tobacco products and ganja business in 2014. In 2017, he was arrested by Red Hills Police in Tamil Nadu. After this, he shifted his illicit operations to Bengaluru and distributed the contraband initially in SPSR Nellore district and then extended it to Prakasam and West Godavari districts. He maintained two godowns in Nellore – one at Nelaturu and the other at Vengamambapuram, near Balayapalli. Interrogation of the accused revealed involvement of 20 other accused in different places. Efforts were intensified to nab them.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 12:42:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/gutkha-ganja-smuggling-racket-unearthed/article30486455.ece

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