HYDERABAD: A massive consignment of 292-kg ganja worth `35 lakh was seized while being transported in cars by the Telangana Prohibition and Excise officials at Ghatkesar on Saturday night. Sheelavathi, one of the most sought-after varieties, was concealed in the boot of three cars packed tightly like bricks. Each packet weighed between 2-2.5 kg.
The accused had used a pilot vehicle, like VIP convoys, to alert them of any vehicle checks, said K Pavan Kumar, assistant Excise superintendent (Rangareddy Enforcement wing). The Excise enforcement team let the pilot vehicle pass and pounced on the cars carrying marijuana. The team claims to have been hunting for the accused for the past two months.
“The accused Sreedhar Prathapagiri, K Veeraju, and K Ramana Rao, got the consignment from Paderu in Vishakapatnam and were heading towards Outer Ring Road to deliver it to a person named Ramlal, in Maharashtra,” said the assistant Excise superintendent Pavan Kumar. “The accused, who keep changing their routes, chose to travel to Maharashtra via Hyderabad this time.”
The incident comes even as officials have intensified action against marijuana cultivation in Andhra Pradesh. The State’s Prohibition and Excise department is using drones to spray weedicide on ganja crops cultivated in inaccessible thick forests. About `1,700 crore worth crop has been destroyed in two months, say officials. Out of approximately 10,000 acres in 158 villages where the plant is grown, crops in 1700 acres was destroyed.