The City police busted a major drug racket by apprehending three people, including two Tamil Nadu natives, with alleged possession of over 155kg of ganja on Tuesday.
The consignment, which was smuggled from Andhra Pradesh via. Walayar along the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border, was supposedly intended to cater to the increased demand for addictive substances during the possible lockdown the State stared at in view of the COVID-19 surge, official sources said.
The accused, Mukhtar, 21, and Babu, 29, of Coimbatore, and Sreekuttan, 28, of Kayamkulam, apparently managed to evade detection on the inter-State border while smuggling the contraband in a vegetable-laden goods vehicle around 10 days ago. After reaching the capital city, the gang hid the contraband they brought in 72 sacks inside pipes of the Kerala Water Authority, at Poonthi Road in Kumarapuram.
They were caught by the District Anti Narcotics Special Action Force (DANSAF) team along with the Medical College police from the area along with the stash. A senior official said the racket aimed at making a killing through the drug sale at a time when the State downed the shutters of liquor stores. The contraband could have sold for around ₹80 lakh. This could shoot up during a lockdown when public movement was curbed. Sourced from Andhra Pradesh, the consignment was primarily meant for supply among school students and youth in the city.
City police Commissioner and Inspector General Balram Kumar Upadhyay said efforts were on to nab the others involved in the drug racket. The accused were tracked down using information provided by peddlers who were arrested earlier.
A special team constituted by the City police to rein in narcotics smuggling and trade had managed to confiscate around 200kg of ganja and 40 grams of synthetic drug MDMA within two months. Around 15 people were also arrested in various operations.