Brown sugar worth 12 lakh seized in Balasore, 3 arrested

Balasore: Excise department sleuths today arrested three drug peddlers and seized 120 grams of brown sugar worth Rs 12 lakh from their possession in Jaleswar. Acting on a tip-off, a special team conducted raid near Gayatri petrol pump on NH 60 and nabbed the youths.

Sources said all the accused hail from Bhubaneswar and Khurda and had procured the narcotics substances from West Bengal. Preliminary investigations reveal that they would have supplied the brown sugar at Jagatsinghpur, Bhubaneswar and nearby districts.

Further investigation regarding the involvement of other members in the illegal narcotics trade is on.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Excise department and district police officials were criticised for not being able to put a check on drugs racket.

Excise and police in Balasore had launched a massive crackdown in the district against brown sugar trade after OTV in a sting operation in 2017 had exposed rampant narcotics trade that was flourishing in the district due to unbridled nexus between dealers and corrupt officials.

A major breakthrough had come on May 28, 2017 when the officials of Central Excise and Intelligence and Enforcement Bureau and Balasore unit had seized brown sugar weighing around 1kg worth nearly Rs 1 crore. A drug peddler Sk Rafik (28) was also arrested in this connection.