Bhubaneswar: The Excise sleuths today once again arrested a B.Tech graduate student on charges of drug peddling in the Capital city. The anti-drug squad reportedly nabbed the accused from Salia Sahi area and seized 83 gram brown sugar worth around Rs 8 lakh from his possession.

The accused, identified as Khitish Patnaik of Khurda, was targeting college students and selling the contraband item outside college campuses in the city, said sources.

“The accused is an addicted as well as a peddler. Acting on a tip-off, we raided his house and seized 83 gram of brown sugar from his possession. During interrogation, the accused revealed that he used to bring brown sugar from Khurda and Jaleswar area,” said Jagdish Chandra Samal, Excise official of the Central Excise Intelligence, Cuttack.

“I had bought the brown sugar for my consumption. I am a software engineer. Nearly six months ago, I came in contact with some friends, who used to take drugs (brown sugar) and subsequently became addicted to the drug,” said the accused, Khitish.

It is alleged that Bhubaneswar is turning into a hub of illegal drug trade. In the last couple of months, the excise officials have arrested several women and educated youths on charges of drug peddling.

A few weeks back, excise officials had arrested a B.Tech student of a private university for his alleged involvement in sale of brown sugar near Big Bazaar area in Patia of Bhubaneswar. A packet containing 60 grams of brown sugar worth Rs 6 lakh and a motorcycle were seized from his possession.

Police and excise sleuths have reportedly intensified surveillance in the Twin city to keep an eye on youths who are involved in this illegal trade.