Mumbai police seize 1,800 kg ganja smuggled from Odisha;2 held

PTI | Mumbai | Updated: 13-02-2021 14:42 IST | Created: 13-02-2021 14:42 IST
Mumbai police seize 1,800 kg ganja smuggled from Odisha;2 held

The Anti-Narcotics Cell (ANC) ofthe Mumbai crime branch has seized 1,800 kg ganja worth Rs 3.5crore which was being brought from Odisha and arrested twopersons in the biggest such operation in recent past, anofficial said on Saturday.

On a tip-off, police intercepted a truck at a FootOver Bridge (FOB) on the Eastern Express highway in suburbanVikhroli on Friday evening and found ganja, he said.

The contraband was being smuggled in Mumbai fromOdisha in the truck, the official said, adding that AkashYadav (25) and Dineshkumar Saroj (26) were arrested.

The kingpin of the inter-state smuggling racket isidentified as Laxmikant Pradhan, a resident of Ganjam districtin Odisha, the official said.

''Members of this racket used to bring 5 tonnes ofganja in Maharashtra every month and around 3 to 4 tonnes ofit was distributed in Mumbai and neighbouring districts,'' hesaid.

Milind Bharambe, Joint Commissioner of Police (crime),told reporters that the gang used to hire trucks from Mumbaiunder the guise of importing coconuts, but would actuallysmuggle in ganja.

''The empty trucks (from Maharashtra) used to taken upto a town located on the borders of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha,where another set of drivers and cleaners used to take charge.

These trucks used to proceed to Ganjam to bring ganja.

Meanwhile, the first set of drivers and cleaners used to restin a hotel. Their mobile phones kept switched off until thenew set of drivers replaced them,'' Bharambe said. ''(On return journey from Ganjam) the trucks used toreach Mumbai via Hyderabad, Solapur and Pune. Some consignmentof ganja used to be unloaded in Solapur and Pune,'' the policeofficer said.

He said the gang used to unload the smuggled ganja ata godown in Bhiwandi in Thane district neighbouring Mumbai.

''The contraband used to be supplied from this godownto Mumbai and suburbs, Thane, Palghar, Vasai, Virar, andSurat,'' he said.

Bharambe said at least 2.5 tonnes of marijuana used tobe smuggled to Maharashtra every 15 days.

The man responsible for distribution of the contrabandin Mumbai and neighbouring areas has been identified asSabdeep Satpute, he said, adding that money was moved eitherthrough hawala or in the form of cash.

A hunt is launched for Pradhan, Satpute and othermembers of the gang, said another official.

He said the ANC had seized various narcotics worth Rs15 crore in the last four months in 32 cases and arrested 65people.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)



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