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Vikash Sharma

Has Nayagarh turned into a new hub for illegal narcotics trade in Odisha after Jaleswar? Such fears are being raised following the seizure of a major consignment of brown sugar by the Special Task Force (STF) of the Odisha Crime Branch on in the district on Monday.

The contraband was recovered from house located at Sinduria village under Nayagarh Town police limits. One peddler, identified as K Vickey Rao of Rajabazar area of Khordha, was arrested from the spot and brown sugar weighing 3.1 kg had been recovered from him.

Apart from brown sugar, Rs.65.32 lakh cash, three 7mm high-quality pistols, 43 live rounds and a cash counting machine was also recovered during the raid. This was the biggest seizure made by the STF so far in 2022. It is also for the first time that such a big haul of narcotics has been made from Nayagarh district.

Divulging details, Crime Branch Additional DG Sanjeeb Panda said, “Usually drug peddlers in Odisha are linked to narcotics operatives in West Bengal. Our investigation is still underway to ascertain the source of the seized drugs in Nayagarh to unearth the supply chain of the accused, Vickey.” Panda said that they CB STF is also in touch with the West Bengal STF as part of the ongoing investigation.

“It was more of an intelligence based operation. After we get reliable inputs, we conduct the raid. It is always a cat and mouse game. So far, it has been ascertained that Vickey was operating the drug racket with the help of two associates who are still absconding,” said Panda.

When asked about the firearms, Panda said that it is yet to be ascertained whether the pistols were meant to be sold (smuggled) or were kept by the accused for own-use.

Drive By STF So Far

Since 2020, the STF has seized more than 47 Kg of brown sugar in the special drive against narcotic drugs since 2020. Similarly, 122 drug dealers/peddlers have also been arrested in several cases so far.

In drive against illegal arms since 2020, the STF has seized 67 fire arms, so far.

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