Himansu Shekhar Rout

Even as cough syrup smuggling has reportedly been thriving in parts of western Odisha, police have started a crackdown in Sambalpur. Police seized a huge cache of cough syrup bottles and arrested 33 people in the last two days. As many as 26 were arrested on Sunday, while seven others were arrested on Monday.

As per reports, police have seized 16,000 bottles of cough syrup which were being transported in a truck and an SUV in Sambalpur. Police rounded up 26 people who were smuggling the stuff. Besides, 12 cell phones and some cash have been seized from them.

According to sources, the cough syrup was smuggled into the town from West Bengal for sale during Holi and elections.  

SDPO Tofan Bag said, "Following an instruction from the SP, raids are being carried out to check smuggling of the contraband ahead of the elections and Holi. A person was arrested yesterday. After interrogating him, we got information about the smuggling of the cough syrup into the town. He had ordered the cough syrup by making an online payment. We had carried out a block-and-checking drive across the town. A syndicate is operating.”

He added that many of the accused were arrested earlier. More arrests are likely, he said.

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