Bhubaneswar: In a major crackdown on ganja smuggling, the Excise department today busted a racket in Bhubaneswar and seized a huge cache of the contraband item.
Acting on a tip-off, the Excise officials raided a duplex building near Kolathia in Khandagiri area of the capital city.
During the search, the sleuths seized 10 quintals of ganja with an estimated cost of around Rs 50 lakh.
This apart, the officials arrested one Subal Samantaray, a native of Balasore from the building on charges of possessing huge amount of ganja.
As per reports, Samantaray is an inter-state ganja smuggler and has been involved in smuggling for past several years. He brought the ganja packets to Bhubaneswar from Mohana area of Gajapati district in private buses and had rented the duplex building on a monthly charge of Rs 10,000 to store the ganja packets.
The reports suggested that Samantaray's family members were also aware of his illegal business.
“Samantaray used to smuggle ganja to Kolkata from Odisha. He used to collect the contraband from Adaba in Gajapati at a price of Rs 1,200 per kg and sell them at Rs 5,000 outside the State. He is not alone into ganja sumggling, efforts are on to nab his other associates. An investigation is underway,” an Excise official said, adding that Samantaray’s son-in-law was also caught in Delhi while smuggling ganja and lodged in jail.
Claiming that he had been involved in ganja smuggling for past six months, Samantaray said, “I was alone into this illegal trade and no one else is involved.”