Berhampur, September 17 (LocalWire): With the authorities increasing vigil on the major routes, particularly the National Highways, the narcotic smugglers have started to use rural and jungle routes for transporting the contraband.
The new transit approach of the smugglers was noticed by the police when they seized over 3,000-kg cannabis from three vehicles, including two mini trucks near Badagada four days ago, and another 100-kg of contraband from G Rambha under Bhanjanagara.
While 3,000-kg ganja was being transported from Adava area in Gajapati district, over one quintal marijuana was being sent from Kandhamal district to Bhubaneswar via Ganjam.
Traditionally the narcotic traders have been using the National Highway in southern Odisha’s Ganjam, Gajapati and Kandhamal districts to transport the contraband to various destinations.
“These narcotic substances were transported through the jungle in rural roads to avoid interception by the police and excise department. \
Earlier, the smugglers preferred to shift the narcotic through the plains, particularly the National Highways.
The smugglers felt that once the shipment is on the highway, it would be difficult for the enforcement agencies to nab them from amongst the thousands of vehicles that ply on the road,” a senior police officer said.
“We have now started to keep strict vigil in the rural and forest areas to crack down on the ganja smugglers,” Ganjam superintendent of police Brijesh Rai said.
The inspector-in-charges of police stations, particularly, Badagada, Sorada, Patapur, and Sheragada have been instructed to keep a watch on the transportation of ganja from Gajapati and Kandhamal districts, he stated.
“Ganjam is not a ganja growing district, but it is a major transit point for the smugglers,” he said.
According to the available data, in 2019 alone the police have seized huge quantities of ganja being transported to different destinations through the National Highway 16 and 59 passing through the district by cracking down on at least six major cases.
While the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) Bhubaneswar seized around 989-kg of cannabis from an onion-laden truck on Odisha-Andhra Pradesh border near Berhampur on NH-16 in the first week of this month, the police confiscated 974-kg of ganja that was being transported in a ragi-laden truck, near Golagandapalli, on NH 16 under Rambha police station limits last month.
Similarly, in March this year, the local police had seized over 600-kg ganja near Chhatrapur on NH 16 with the help of the Andhra Pradesh police, while they confiscated around 800-kg ganja near Gangapur on Bhanjanagar-Aska road, earlier in February.
In Gajapati district, the police had seized around 500-kg ganja near Adava in March and another consignment of 510-kg ganja near Chheligad in July.