The Visakhapatnam City Police have embarked on a campaign to weed out the ganja menace, by booking nine cases and arresting 26 persons for smoking the contraband in just the past week. Of the nine cases, four alone were booked on Friday.
Four persons were arrested on Friday in MVP Colony. Among the 26 persons who were arrested, 12 are below 25 years of age and eight are aged below 20, police said, adding that they want to send out a message that smoking ganja would attract severe consequences under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.
Cases were registered at MVP police station, One Town police station, Two Town, Arilova, Three Town and Airport police station.
Police said that the raids would continue and strict action would be taken even against those who are found accompanying the ganja smokers. Police also appealed to the parents to keep a watch on the movements of their children.
In another case, the city police on Friday arrested a 32-year-old man for allegedly possessing two litres of hash oil worth ₹4 lakh near Marripalem area under Airport police station limits.
According to the police, on Thursday night, acting on a tip-off, Inspector of Airport police station Ch. Umakanth along with officials from City Task Force (CTF), conducted a raid near Marripalem and found S. Chandra Mohan (32) of G. Madugula, who was moving with two litres of hash oil.
Police said that the accused was coming to the city from G. Madugula with the banned hash oil. Mr. Umakanth added that Chandra Mohan was only acting as a courier and was supposed to deliver it to someone in the city. Further investigation is on to ascertain the identity of the receiver, police said.
In another case booked under NDPS, the Duvvada police arrested six persons who were allegedly trying to transport 107 kg of ganja in a private travel bus near Duvvada, here on Thursday night.
The accused were identified as Ashorba Gaikwad (29), and Nagnath Ashorba Gaikwad (29), both from Parbhani, Maharastra, Dharmendra Kumar (24) from Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh, Sushil Parameshwar Kasabe (30) and Varsha Vithoba Kasabe (32) both from Maharashtra and Anil Sunani (23) from Sambalpur, Odisha.
Police said that all the accused work as labourers in Maharashtra. In order to earn easy money, they had conspired to smuggle and sell ganja for heavy profits. The smugglers had procured the ganja for ₹700 per kg from Sileru in Visakha Agency and were trying to shift it to Mumbai. Though the seized ganja is worth around ₹2 lakh in the Agency area, it is expected to fetch around ₹10 lakh in States like Maharashtra, police said.
Based on credible information, a team led by Duvvada Inspector Lakshmi intercepted a private travel bus near Kurmannapalem junction and seized the contraband from the luggage hold. Noticing the police, the six accused tried to escape from the spot but were caught. Police found the ganja stuffed in 17 bags.
Police said that since January 20, about 177 kg of ganja was seized at various places under three different police stations in the city.