Balasore: The Special Task Force (STF) of Odisha Crime Branch seized huge quantities of brown sugar and arrested three smugglers at Jaleswar area in the district on Friday.
The market value of the seized contraband weighing 2 kg is around Rs 2 crore, Crime Branch DIG Jay Narayan Pankaj said.
“It’s a massive quantity worth Rs 2 crore. We have arrested three persons ‘at one place’ who were involved in the illegal trade. The trio belong to Balasore district. We had already seized 33 kg brown sugar and 66 quintal Ganja and arrested several peddlers since we launched our special drive last year,” he added.
From the quantity of the contraband recovered from the trio, it becomes clear that they were not the retailers but were trading in wholesale. It’s too early to determine their modus operandi as the investigation is at an early stage, Pankaj added.
Not only the Crime Branch STF but the Odisha police have also intensified the anti-narcotics crackdown across the State and continue to book the traffickers on many occasions, he pointed out.
Dismissing the perception that Lockdown-shutdown would help the smugglers, the DIG further clarified that the curfew had no impact on smuggling of brown sugar as transportation of small quantity is easier unlike Ganja which is trafficked in bulks.
The crime branch official hoped that smuggling activities will decrease further in the coming days due to frequent crackdown against drug peddling.
“Moreover, we will also get cooperation from neighbouring West Bengal once the Covid-19 restrictions are eased. The drive can be expedited further,” he added.
Last month, the STF had nabbed two drug peddlers and seized huge volumes of brown sugar worth over Rs 1 crore from Sahadevkhunta area in same district. During searches, brown sugar weighing 1.36 kg, a stolen bike without registration number and other incriminating materials were seized from their possession.