Andhra Pradesh

One more person arrested in ganja smuggling case

Special Correspondent Visakhapatnam 27 November 2021 20:35 IST
Updated: 27 November 2021 20:35 IST

Accused are conducting their activity through e-commerce site, says SEB Joint Director

The Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB) has arrested a fifth person for his alleged involvement in the ganja smuggling case through an e-commerce site, on Friday night. The fifth person has been identified as Chilakapati Mohan Raju

With this, the number of arrests has gone up to five and the arrested include Chilakapati Srinivasa Rao, Jeeru Kumaraswamy, Bijjam Krishnam Raju, Cheepurupalli Venkateswara Rao and Chilakapati Mohan Raju alias Rakhi, who is the son of Srinivasa Rao.

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Addressing the media here on Saturday, SEB Joint Director Satish Kumar said that the main kingpins in the case are Suraj Pawaiya and Mukul Jaiswal, who are residents of Gwalior Madhya Pradesh, and Srinivasa Rao was their main contact point here.

Explaining the modus operandi, Mr. Satish said that Suraj and Mukul had established a ganja smuggling corridor from Visakhapatnam agency to Madhya Pradesh, using the portals of the multi-national e-commerce company Amazon.

They started a shell company with a registered address in Srikakulam and also obtained a GST registration number to pay GST on the freight charges.

They would pack the weed under the guise of transporting natural Stevia leaves using the packaging material of the e-commerce company.

The kingpins took franchise of the e-commerce company and were conducting the business from Gwalior or Bhopal with the help of Srinivasa Rao, who acted as their middlemen and contact person.

The case had come to light after Suraj and Mukul were arrested by MP police a couple of weeks ago and based on confession of the duo the SEB zeroed in on Srinivasa Rao.

“He was arrested on November 21, and we had recovered a small quantity of ganja from him. But he led us to his hideout in Kancharapalem, where we seized 48 kgs of ganja, one two-wheeler, one electronic weighing machine and the branded packaging material of Amazon,” said Mr. Satish.

They have been operational since last seven to eight months and would have smuggled to the tune of about 700 to 800 kg, so far, said the Joint Director of SEB.

Among the arrested Kumarswamy and Krishnam Raju are working as pick-up associates for Amazon and Venkateswara Rao is the driver.

Referring to a question, Mr. Satish said that efforts are on to discuss the checks and balances with e-commerce sites and increase surveillance on such activities.

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