HYDERABAD: Ganja peddlers, smuggling the drug from agency areas of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha to different parts of the country, via Hyderabad, are finding escape routes using Google Maps and keeping police on their toes.
With increased surveillance on all major routes and a crackdown on ganja transportation, peddlers have started using technology such as Google Maps to choose routes that do not have toll plazas, where generally police have heavy presence.
This trend was observed in some of the recent smuggling cases detected by the Cyberabad police. Smugglers while starting their journey are selecting the route on Google Maps. For instance, if the ganja is scheduled for Nasik in Maharashtra, they choose the route as ‘Visakhapatnam to Nasik without toll plazas’.
Further, they also have a second vehicle piloting the vehicle carrying ganja. The pilot vehicle travels at least 3 km to 5 km ahead of the ganja-carrying vehicle and alerts it of any police checks or suspicious activity is seen. The live location of the pilot vehicle is shared with the vehicle carrying the consignment.
This had not only been helping them avoid toll plazas, where vehicles are checked, but also alert them of police checks enroute.
Whenever they notice any checks, they take the bypass or an internal road and after crossing the checkpoint, continue their journey on highway. Further, they have been avoiding entering Hyderabad city and taking the roads on the outskirts where the chances of police checks are less.
Police observed this trend in the recent seizures of 240 kg ganja at Kothur and 800 kg ganja at Miyapur. Even in the case of 294 kg ganja seized at Choutuppal, the peddlers noticed police movement and took a diversion and then entered the abutting villages, but police finally nabbed them.
Trend observed in recent cases
A trend observed in some of the recent ganja smuggling cases detected by the Cyberabad police showed that smugglers while starting their journey are selecting the route on Google Maps. For instance, if the ganja is scheduled for Nasik in Maharashtra, they choose the route as ‘Visakhapatnam to Nasik without toll plazas’. Further, they also have a second vehicle piloting the second vehicle carrying the contraband.