THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The excise officers confiscated a 45 kg shipment of marijuana being transported from Andhra Pradesh and apprehended two individuals accompanying it in Kunnathukal, Thiruvananthapuram, on Saturday night.
While the men in the car that was used to smuggle ganga managed to evade the police, a group of men in another car who were supposed to be escorting were caught.
The arrested men have been identified as Vijith of Kanjirampara and Shan of Tholicode.
According to sources in the excise department, they received information about a drug smuggling operation led by Uriyacode Lal from Andhra Pradesh. Acting on this tip, they increased surveillance and successfully confiscated the illegal drugs. The two men, who managed to escape, have been identified and they would soon be nabbed, the sources added.
The seizure was made by a team led by Assistant Excise Commissioner T Anikumar and comprising of officers G Krishnakumar, T R Mukesh Kumar, R G Rajesh among others.
"Lal has been running a racket engaged in drug smuggling. He had attempted four smuggling operations recently of which two were seized by us. Two others he managed to land successfully," the sources added.
This time, the group hired two vehicles to move illegal substances. A Vithura local, working with Lal, rented the cars from an unsuspecting dealer. Afterwards, the cars were given to the group members who used them to cross the borders.
According to the sources, the men didn't make any effort to hide the shipment and instead stored it in the car's trunk.
"They reached Chennai from Andhra. From there they followed their preferred route, which is along Madurai- Tirunelveli- Nagercoil. They were not even checked once during this long journey," said an excise officer.
The same team had last month seized 80kg ganja consignment while it was being transported into the state from Andhra Pradesh. The seizure was made at Anavoor and the ringleader Lal had managed to give the sleuths a slip.