Nine held for smuggling ganja in Kandhamal

Berhampur : Nine persons have been arrested from two places in Kandhamal district for allegedly smuggling ganja, police said today.

Two quintals of ganja was seized from a car at Gunduli Chhaka and another 61 kg from a motorcycle and a four-wheeler near Phiringia, said Kandhamal Superintendent of Police K V Singh.

The SP said it was the biggest seizure so far this year. The contraband was being smuggled from Kandhamal to Bhubaneswar via Boudh, he said.

In the last four months, police have seized over 205 kg of ganja and arrested 16 smugglers in nine different cases.

Suspecting a nexus between ganja smugglers and Maoists, DGP Sanjeev Marik during his visit to Kandhamal recently had stressed crackdown on such activities.

Police are keeping a strict vigil on illegal transportation of ganja since it is the harvest season now, the SP said adding that the operation will be intensified in coming days.

An anti-narcotic cell has been set up in the district police headquarters at Phulbani to curb the menace. The cell gathers information about ganja cultivation and people involved in smuggling for time-bound action, said a senior police officer.