Finding Babli: Delhi police team in Bhubaneswar to trace marijuana trail

New Delhi: In a covert operation which started with a marijuana trail, a team of five Delhi Police officials camped in Bhubaneswar are busy tracking Babli, a leading carrier of the contraband from Odisha in recent times.

The name of Babli cropped up twice — once last year and again lately when the Crime Branch unearthed an inter-state marijuana racket and a man named Babli turned out to be their source, senior officials said.

The marijuana was sent here with a consignment of mangoes which, investigators say, is the modus operandi of the Odisha module.

A senior police official said, modules in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh have emerged to be the major marijuana suppliers in Delhi, with large tracts of land in dense forests there being used for cultivation of the same.

While the Odisha module dispatches marijuana hiding them in trucks transporting fruits and vegetable across India, the Andhra module primarily uses heavy vehicles to transport contraband hiding them under a minimum layer of eatables, which is just the opposite of what the former does.

Hence, as far as logistics is concerned, the frequency of transportation is higher for the Odisha module and lower for that of Andhra, which prefers sending marijuana in bulk, the officer said adding that arrests are also more in connection with the latter.

In the Odisha module, Delhi Police have traced several ‘carriers’ — identified as Sonu, Prabhat, Ajmeri, etc — but succeeded in tracking none. Babli is the latest of them.

Carriers are the intermediaries between the peddlers who bring the contraband here and the investors who put money on marijuana cultivation in the source states, the senior official said.

Earlier this month, a trucker and a peddler, destined to Varanasi, were arrested by the Crime Branch and Babli emerged as their main source. They were taken to Bhubaneswar on transit remand to track Babli down.

The team of five who are presently camped at Bhubaneswar have so far only been able to gather input like Babli, who is based in Bhubaneswar, procures marijuana from official licensed outlets in the state.

“He bribes people and procures much above the quota allotted for individuals. He later sells them off in other states at an exorbitant price,” an investigator privy to the operation said.

The team has raided several hideouts where they were informed that Babli could be found, but they have so far not been able to nab him.