Ganja smuggling on the rise in State after easing of Covid curbs 

Ganja smuggling cases have been on the rise particularly after a brief lull during the Covid pandemic lockdown in the first wave.

Published: 21st October 2021 07:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st October 2021 07:58 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

VISAKHAPATNAM:  There has been a quantum jump in ganja smuggling in the State, particularly after the ease of Covid pandemic restrictions. Ganja cultivated in Andhra Odisha Border area in Visakhapatnam and Odisha is being smuggled from the agency area in Vizag. Ganja cultivation is reportedly going on in over 12,000 acres in the interior pockets of the AOB area.

Ganja smuggling cases have been on the rise particularly after a brief lull during the Covid pandemic lockdown in the first wave. In the year 2020, over 42,000 kgs of ganja worth `9.46 crore was seized. Whereas in just three months from June to August this year, 30,620 kgs of ganja worth `6.12 crore was seized in the district. 

Vizag is a transit route for even the ganja produced in Odisha and the peddlers use the route to avoid extortion and robbery gangs in that State. This is also one of the reasons for spurt in cases. According to police, compared to last year, the number of cases have almost doubled. Ganja which is procured for Rs 5,000 to Rs 6,000 a kg is being sold in sachets to get five to six times revenue and 10 times of the price in metro cities.

Smuggling networks 

Several networks operate in illegal transport of the ganja from the agency area particularly from Darakonda and Gudem Kothaveedhi areas. Owing to concerted efforts, the police and SEB could break some of the networks. But there are still many networks in the interior region of the agency, which is spread in a large area. 

Following reports of the Narcotics Control Bureau, which pointed out an increase in ganja supply and cases in the district, enforcement was stepped up to break the networks. Besides, Maoists are allegedly encouraging ganja cultivation so as to get support from the tribal people.

198 cases; 412 arrested 

From June to August this year, 30,620 kgs of ganja worth Rs 6.12 crore was seized in 198 cases. As many as 412 persons were arrested in these cases.

To check the smuggling, SEB and district police have been conducting joint raids and most of the cases have been reported in Narsipatnam, Araku, Pedabayalu, Munchingput, and other agency mandals. Of late, there have been cases of ganja smuggling in the city also. The district administration plans to encourage the tribal farmers to raise alternate crops.

With increased surveillance, some smugglers have been transporting hashish oil. An illegal hashish manufacturing unit was busted at Goppu Gudisela in Chintapalli mandal in the first week of October. In another case, two women were arrested from an apartment in Pendurthi with one kg of hashish oil.

Contraband seized 

  • 30,620 kgs ganja seized and 198 cases booked from June to August in 2021; Value — Rs 6.12 cr.
  • 42,337.57 kg of dry ganja was seized and 252 cases booked in 2020. Value — Rs 9.46 crore
  • 23,172 kg of dry ganja was seized and 199 cases booked in 2019 
  • In Vizag city, 67 NDPS cases were registered and 2333 kgs of dry ganja seized in 2020


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