Dhanuskodi and the nearby coastal areas have become a haven for ganja smugglers as they prefer to transport the banned substance by boat between 18th and 5th Isle, located between Dhanuskodi and Thalaimannar.
Of the 18 islets, the first six belong to India and the others belong to Sri Lanka. While the islets are a boon to fishermen, who can take refuge on any of them when they face perils at sea, Dhanuskodi has turned into a hub for ganja smugglers. Agents collect ganja from growers in Cumbum, Bodi and the nearby areas and send it to Rameswaram by bus and trains along with other goods.
An intelligence officer, speaking to Express, said agents pack the ganja in plastic bags and dump them on the remote islands. The packages are then sent to 5th Isle by boat, where they are buried in the soil and a marker placed to identify the spot. Boat operators are paid about `3,000 to transport the contraband to 5th Isle.
Sri Lankan agents, in the guise of fishermen, would then visit the isle and dig up the bags. All this would be carried out under the cover of darkness. The substance is sold in Sri Lanka for as much as `50,000 per kg and transactions are negotiated over the phone, he added.
A team of Coastal Security Group (CSG) police detained two persons including Vadivelu of Kampibadu near Dhanuskodi and recovered two kg of ganja from them recently. During the inquiry, it was revealed that a separate network was involved with transportation of drugs along the coastal areas.
Although police and intelligence personnel patrol the coastal areas around Rameswaram regularly, smuggling has been going on without hindrance, a police officer rued.