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Angamaly-Karukutty NH-544 stretch remains key transit point for ganja smuggling

Out of a total of 550 kg of ganja seized over the past one and a half years in the district, 370 kg was recovered from the Angamaly-Karukutty stretch of the NH 544.

Published: 04th April 2022 04:22 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th April 2022 04:22 AM   |  A+A-

Drugs, Drug peddling, Ganja

Image for representational purpose only. (Express Illustrations)

Express News Service

KOCHI:  The National Highway 544 connecting Salem and Kochi continues to be the main route of ganja smuggling into Kerala. According to the data available with the Ernakulam rural police, out of a total of 550 kg of ganja seized over the past one and a half years in the district, 370 kg was recovered from the Angamaly-Karukutty stretch of the NH 544.

"Drugs from other states, mainly Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, are flowing into the state. The Angamaly-Karukutty area is a key transit point for smuggling ganja into the rural areas of the district. Drugs are mainly coming from Paderu, a village in Andhra Pradesh," a police officer said.

According to the police, Paderu, a Maoist-affected area, has many agents including Keralites. Those arriving in the village from Perumbavoor and Aluva meet the agents and strike deals after examining the samples shown by middlemen. 

"The vehicle is handed over to these persons, and they will return it after loading cannabis. The price there ranges from Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,000 per kilogram. When it reaches the state, the price shoots up to anywhere between Rs 25,000 and Rs 30,000. Once the drug reaches Perumbavoor or Aluva, it goes into the hands of wholesalers and beedi sellers at various locations," the officer said.

According to the police, a special team under Rural SP K Karthick has been carrying out a drive against drug smuggling. Over the past one and a half years, 550kg of ganja was seized and about 70 people arrested with commercial quantities of drugs.

Twelve cases have also been registered in connection with these incidents, the SP said. "As many as 23 persons were arrested with commercial quantities of ganja this month alone," Karthick said. 

The Ernakulam Range DIG has directed the police team to initiate stringent legal action against narcotic offenders, he pointed out. "We never stopped the drug seizures as we kept tracking the source and the supply network. When we come across a narcotic, we deal with it strongly invoking sections of the NDPS Act. There are provisions in the Act to attach the property illegally amassed by the accused through the trafficking of narcotic substances. Besides, the Central Act has provisions to initiate preventive detention of drug offenders as in the KAAPA Act," Karthick said.

During the drive, the sleuths seized 75kg of cannabis from Kompara, 45kg from Kalloorkad and 30kg that was being sent via courier service to Kunnuvazhi in Perumbavoor. 

While 2.3kg of MDMA was seized from Angamaly, 49 LSD stamps were seized from Perumbavoor.  Thirty vehicles, including a lorry, were impounded. Five cents of land belonging to one of the accused in the Kalloorkad case, along with Rs 4 lakh in the bank account of another accused, was confiscated.

Twelve cases of large-scale drug seizures have been carried out in rural areas and are being investigated, an officer said. During the period, a Nigerian national was arrested by the Ernakulam Rural police from Bengaluru for the supply of synthetic drugs. "He was a major link of the gang that smuggled synthetic drugs to various states including Kerala. An investigation is under way based on the information received from him," the officer added.

Cops on prowl

  • Over the past one and a half years, about 70 people were arrested with commercial quantities of drugs  

  • The Ernakulam Range DIG has directed the police team to initiate stringent legal action against narcotic offenders



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