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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Jeypore: In a significant move against organised cannabis (ganja) smuggling syndicates operating in the district, the Koraput police have frozen the bank accounts of two notorious drug kingpins in the city.

The mafia bosses have been identified as Sudarsana Panigrahi and Gopinath Niriki from Jalapur village under Jeypore block in Koraput district.

According to reports, the police have frozen their bank accounts with a total balance of Rs 96. 5 lakh. Panigrahi and Nikiri had deposited Rs 21.8 lakh, and Rs 67.68 lakh in their accounts, respectively.

"A case under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act had been registered against both of them in 2020. After a thorough investigation into their financials, it has been decided to freeze their bank accounts," said Arup Abhisek, Jeypore Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO).

"We have also launched financial investigations into other narcotics smuggling proceeds. It's a time consuming process as so many departments have to be roped in the probe. However, we are hopeful we will be able to seize the illegal properties of some other mafia bosses soon," he said.

The Excise department officials had seized around nine quintals of ganja (dry cannabis) from Jeypore in August 2020. As many as four persons including the duo had been arrested in that connection for allegedly smuggling the contraband. Police had also seized a Bolero jeep and Rs 3 lakh from their possession.

It is worth mentioning that, despite regular crackdowns carried out by police and Excise officials, smuggling of ganja and other contraband items continues unabated in Koraput and other districts in Southern Odisha.

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