VISAKHAPATNAM: In a major crackdown on the illicit ganja trade, a posse of enforcement officials destroyed cannabis crops cultivated in 26 acres in the tribal mandals of Visakhapatnam Agency on Friday.
A team comprising more than 100 officials from the district prohibition and excise department, along with the personnel of forest, revenue, and police departments conducted raids at several villages in the limits of G Madugula and Hukumpeta mandals. They seized the ganja illegally hoarded at the villages and destroyed nearly 1.30 lakh ganja plants which were cultivated in an extent of 26 acres.
Acting on a tip-off, the enforcement team conducted surprise raids on some areas where ganja was suspected to be cultivated on a commercial scale. Simultaneous raids were conducted at Gudalam Veedhi and Salamarangi villages in G Madugula mandal, and Aralada and Cheediputtu villages in Hukumpet mandal.
Two teams comprising 55 personnel and 20 labourers each took part in the raids following the direction of a high-level committee for which the orders were issued on September 2. “Similar raids by the joint enforcement teams will continue. We are committed to making the district free of illicit ganja trade,” said assistant prohibition and excise superintendent Baabji Rao.