Mumbai: 500 kg of ganja worth Rs 1 crore found hidden in onions
Making its biggest ever seizure of cannabis (ganja), the ANC has recovered 500 kg of it valued at R1 crore on the international market and arrested three gang members
The jeep in which the cannabis was brought into the city
Remember the unwitting who had got caught after trying to smuggle in 110 kg cannabis into the city on the day of the Dalit protest, assuming the police to be busy on bandobast? That doesn't seem have acted as a lesson. The Anti-Narcotics Cell (ANC) busted an inter-state drug cartel trying to sneak in the narcotic on Monday, the day the protesting farmers were returning home and the police department was working to facilitate a smooth departure.
Making its biggest ever seizure of cannabis (ganja), the ANC has recovered 500 kg of it valued at R1 crore on the international market and arrested three gang members — Sanjay Minute, 36, the driver of the vehicle in which the drug was being transported, Nandlal Beldal, 55, the kingpin, and Kalu Mohite, 28.
Sources said that because cannabis has a strong smell, making it easy to detect, the accused had tried to hide it behind cut and rotting onions to mask the drug's odour. It had been brought from Naxal-affected Ganjam district in Odisha and nearby areas, including some in Andhra Pradesh. Beldal transported the consignment from Malegaon to Mumbai, but police are investigating how it reached Malegaon in the first place.
ANC's Azad Maidan unit caught the consignment after a month-long investigation. DCP (ANC) Shivdeep Lande has instructed all units to find the customers for whom such a huge quantity was brought in. Lande said, "Our team was alert and laid a trap at Vikhroli, where the jeep was intercepted. Its thorough search revealed the drug hidden behind onions."
The arrested accused were produced in court yesterday and sent to police custody till March 19. Sources said Beldal, whose interrogation is on, has been changing his statements — while he initially said the consignment was brought to be given to five distributors, he's now claiming there is only one distributor.
The Naxal angle
Sources said Naxalites farm cannabis and sell it to cities through peddlers, using the money to fund their activities. ANC is trying to trace the money trail in the case.