Excise department sleuths recovered 20 gold biscuits and Rs 1.22 crore in cash while searching for marijuana from three gold merchants at Lanjipalli under Baidyanathpur police limits in Ganjam district late Tuesday night.
Two gold traders of Bada Bazaar and one from Maharashtra were caught by the sleuths while they were planning to do business without paying GST. Meanwhile, police have detained the trio to extract more information from them.
According to sources, the Excise department sleuths every day block National Highway passing through Ganjam as part of their measures to curb marijuana smuggling.
Acting on a tip-off about smuggling of marijuana through the route, the Excise inspector detained a vehicle having Mumbai registration number and recovered Rs 1.22 crore from a vegetable bag and an air bag. To their utter surprise, they got 20 gold biscuits from the carrier.
Later, Excise sleuths informed Baidyanath police who rushed to the spot and detained the concerned persons and the vehicle carrying the gold biscuits and cash.
The Maharashtra-based gold jeweller said during interrogation that they were on their way home after selling gold jewellery. However he failed to produce valid documents regarding the business and gold biscuits.