NCB-Excise-Customs mount joint ops to foil drug cartels’ diabolical designs

By | May 7, 2019

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Now, with the ganja harvest in Andhra and Odisha getting over and the security blanket thrown over the states in connection with general elections set to be lifted soon, enforcement agencies in the state are on their toes anticipating a spike in the activities of inter-state drug syndicates.

Anticipating the commercial flow of the narcotics, for the first time, the Customs Preventive wing, Narcotics Control Bureau and Excise Department have started joint operations across the state to check the flow of the banned substance.

Sources said there is intelligence input from the state and Central agencies flow of ganja will increase after the general elections as the peddlers, who have been lying low in the wake of a heavy police security cover in the main ganja producing areas in AP and Odisha , are now looking at ways to make them available in markets.  

A senior NCB officer told ‘Express’ the harvest was over by February- March. But the movement of the contraband was not possible following stringent vehicles checks in connection with the elections. But with the elections in South India getting over, they are now looking to make up for the losses suffered in March-April. He said there was a quantum leap in domestic consumption of ganja in Kerala in the last five years. If the NCB has cracked around 2-3 commercial rackets in a year around five years ago, their number has gone up to 15-16 now with rackets having global links, he said.

They smuggle in the contraband (commercial quantities) to the state by road mainly through Kasragod and Pollachi. Though there has been some traffic through trains, those are not large quantities when compared to the smuggling by road. The NCB seized around 406 kg of ganja from a vehicle at Dindugul on Thursday, though the parcel was being sent to Tirunelveli. However, the NCB sources said  the major portion of the harvest is being transported to north India and the NorthEast.

The Customs preventive officers, who are part of the joint operation carried out in the state,  made it clear the increase in use of synthetic drugs  among the party goers is major cause of concern for the agencies. The joint team has swooped down on a DJ party at a private luxury hotel in Kochi the other day and seized a tablet from there. However, it is yet to be known if it was a banned drug, said Customs officers.  The agencies have warned the hotels that hold DJ parties.