Ganja smuggling on rise in Vijayawada

Four members were caught red handed while transporting over100 kg of ganja in Penuganchiprolu recently
Image for representational purpose only. ( Express Illustration)
Image for representational purpose only. ( Express Illustration)

VIJAYAWADA: Vijayawada city, once a transit hub for all sorts of illegal activities is again witnessing a surge in ganja smuggling activities. In recent times, the incidents of ganja smuggling have increased in the city after the arrest of four persons who were caught red-handed while transporting 100kgs of ganja at Penuganchiprolu. The accused four members purchased 100 kgs of ganja from a mediator from Vijayawada and were caught by Penuganchiprolu police during a vehicle inspection on November 18.

According to the sources, three out of four accused belonged to Vijayawada and Kolanukonda villages (Guntur) and reportedly has direct contacts with ganja cultivators in Paderu and other agency villages in Visakhapatnam.

“More than 20 such organised gangs were operating from Vijayawada who used to bring ganja from other mediators in the agency villages. They further transport it to Hyderabad, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru and other metropolitan cities as it has a huge demand. For this, they are using college students and youngsters as couriers by luring them with incentives,” said a senior official on the condition of anonymity.

Interestingly, some gangs are choosing public transport like APSRTC buses and trains to continue to run their illegal business.“There were some incidents in the past where the peddlers were caught smuggling ganja in buses and trains as there would be less checking while boarding. To bust those rackets, we intensified inspections in RTC buses and other suspicious vehicles,” the official said.

According to crime statistics, Vijayawada city police arrested as many as 145 cases registered against 308 persons under the NDPS act in the year 2021 and 75 cases in 2020. Despite taking stringent measures, gangs are transporting ganja to the city through various routes.

“The peddlers are operating the dark business from the city outskirts and police were monitoring the activities,” said the police official. Not only the enforcement, but the city police are also focusing on rehabilitation and counselling for those addicted to ganja.

“With the help of psychiatrists and counsellors, we are trying to bring change in the youth who were addicted to ganja. We are identifying and treating them in the earlier stage,” said the task force additional deputy commissioner of police (ADCP) Kolli Srinivasa Rao.

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The New Indian Express