VISAKHAPATNAM: In a major catch, said to be one of the biggest by the excise department in the State, officials on Tuesday seized 6,000 kg ganja from Munchinguput mandal. The value of the contraband is estimated to be around Rs 6 crore.
On specific information, Special Task Force (STF) teams of Prohibition & Excise department conducted raids in Birriguda village of Munchinguput mandal. Teams from Anakapalle and Paderu excise stations conducted raids on three houses and found the ganja stuffed in gunny bags. They were kept ready for transportation to Jeypore in Odisha and from there to Delhi, police said.
Though the excise officials took into custody 30-year-old Korra Srinadh, who was engaged as a security guard at the houses for `1,000 pay per day. The officials identified two persons, Suresh from Munchingputtu and Subhash from Odisha, as main accused in the case.
Excise inspector of Anakapalle Kameswara Rao said the ganja was procured from Chitrakonda, Odisha. The Visakhapatnam Agency and neighbouring Odisha continue to be a haven for ganja cultivation in spite of various measures taken by police and excise departments. “Though police are using latest technology like satellite images to identify the places of ganja cultivation, the menace continues unabated,’’ an official said. Nine of 11 mandals of the Vizag Agency including GK Veedhi, Peddabailu, Munchingput and Maoist-infested Andhra Odisha Border (AOB) regions have been identified as a haven for ganja cultivation and the dual strategy of the crackdown and educating locals has not yielded the desired results.