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Over 500kg of ganja seized in Thiruvananthapuram; two taken into custody

The confiscated haul is believed to be worth ₹20 crore in the black market.

In one of the largest ganja hauls in Kerala, excise officials seized over 500kg of the contraband from a container lorry near Attingal in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday. Two people who brought the consignment from Mysuru have been taken into custody.

The seizure that was made on the basis of a tip-off received two days ago is perceived to be a fallout of the crack down on narcotic substances that is underway in various parts of Karnataka. Anticipating an attempt to smuggle drugs in large quantities to Kerala, excise sleuths have been on high alert for the last few days.

Packed in tightly-sealed plastic covers, marijuana was found in a concealed rack set up on the container, shortly after the vehicle was intercepted in Korani near Attingal. Two people — Jharkhand-native Krishna, who drove the lorry, and his helper Kuldeep Singh of Punjab — were apprehended by the excise team.

Excise Circle Inspector T. Anikumar, who led the special squad, said that the consignment is suspected to have been dispatched by a racket based out of Mysuru which comprised of Keralites. While the total weight on the consignment is yet to be fully tallied, the confiscated haul is believed to be worth ₹20 crore in the black market.

Efforts are on to trace the whereabouts of four suspected agents – two Kannur natives, a Thrissur native and another hailing from Chirayinkeezhu (in Thiruvananthapuram) – who were supposedly tasked in facilitating the supply of the contraband in Kerala, particularly Thiruvananthapuram, Thrissur, Malappuram, Kozhikode and Kannur. The racketeers supposedly intended to store the consignment in a godown in Mudapuram near Chirayinkeezhu until its next shipment.

It was only a few weeks ago on August 22 that excise officials arrested three people with alleged possession of ganja worth ₹1 crore that was smuggled from Andhra Pradesh.

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