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Beedi leaves, turmeric seized; one held

The police have seized turmeric and beedi leaves worth ₹ 4 lakh as it was about to be smuggled to Sri Lanka by boat from Terespuram here on Wednesday.

They said surveillance has been intensified along the Thoothukudi coast following smuggling of turmeric, beedi leaves, narcotic substances, sea cucumber and other banned articles in boats to Sri Lanka. When Q Branch special team, led by Inspector Vijaya Anita, was patrolling near Terespuram around 3.30 a.m. on Wednesday, they saw a few people loading bags in a country boat from a cargo van.

On seeing the police, the boat with a few unidentified people ran away while the cargo van with 840 kg turmeric packed in 28 bags and 420 kg beedi leaves in 14 bags was seized. The police arrested van driver F. Umar Ali, 40, of Mettupatti near Terespuram. When Umar Ali was grilled, he reportedly told the police that one Mohamed Azarudeen of Zakhir Hussein Nagar near Thalamuthu Nagar on Thoothukudi outskirts was behind this illegal activity. Efforts are on secure Mohamed Azarudeen and the others who escaped in the boat.

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