Ganja smuggled to city from AP

Bengaluru peddlers get their supplies from across the state border, according to narcotics officials

Bengaluru is a nodal point because of a large number of students and IT professionals. Modified trucks are used to smuggle drugs.

Bengaluru has become a transit point to smuggle narcotics,mainly ganja, from Andhra Pradesh to Kolkata and Mumbai. It is also a major centre for the sale of a variety of narcotics.
Five drug peddlers were caught in May and three in February this year.

“We have seen the maximum number of cases on the Andhra Pradesh border,” Sunil Kumar Sinha, zonal director of the Narcotics Control Bureau in Bengaluru, told Metrolife.
A recent consignment, seized near Yelahanka, was to be partly sold in Bengaluru. “It had 3,500 kg of ganja,” he says.

Bengaluru is a nodal point because of a large number of students and IT professionals. “There are Africans, from places such as Uganda and Nigeria, involved in trafficking cocaine and LSD. We have also caught Maldives citizens trafficking ganja and hashish oil,” he says.

Among Indians, labourers are among those involved in ganja smuggling. Those who run petty shops sell it, he says. The money depends on the type of drug and the risks involved.

Smuggled under veggies

Modified trucks are used to smuggle drugs. “The lower part of the truck is modified. Ganja is hidden there while the top half is used to transport metal sheets or even fruits and vegetables,” says the officer.

Smaller quantities, say 10 or 20 kg, are usually carried in airbags. “And these are mostly smuggled by women. They travel by bus or train,” says a senior narcotics control official. He says it is impossible to weed out the menace with just a couple of operations. “It’s not like a tree that can be uprooted at once. It is like a weed that keeps growing back. We have to watch out for newer gangs and more innovative methods of smuggling,” he says.

Dr Prabhat Chand, addiction psychiatrist and professor of psychiatry NIMHANS, confirms that youngsters being treated for drug addiction and alcoholism is slowly but steadily on the rise.

“Youngsters who use Heroin and Cannabis are likely to experiment with other narcotic drugs, depending on affordability, availability, accessibility and the peer group pressure. Youth in general are likely to experiment. Those who are impulsive and temperamental in nature are likely to fall prey to consumption of drugs,” informs Dr Prabhat Chand. When asked about whether boys and girls are in equal number, Dr Prabhat Chand, says “Boys outnumber the girls because temperamentally they are more vulnerable. But surprisingly we have had to start another de-addiction ward to accommodate the increasing number of cases related to women.” Leaders cutting across party lines have discussed the drug problem in Bengaluru and called for strict action.

Monthly inspection

Narcotics Control Bureau sees no specific pattern or season in the narcotics trade.  “We make it a point to go on an inspection at least once amonth. We want to make sure that innocent people are not falsely convicted or pulled into the racket,” Sunil Kumar Sinha, Zonal director, Narcotics Control Bureau.

Assembly talk

Dr G Parameshwara, deputy chief minister, has announced he will invoke the Goonda Act to crush the drug menace.

Cases since April

About 117 kg of ganja was seized from two persons at the Hunasamaranahalli bus stop on Ballari Road. It was brought from Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and meant for
sale in Bengaluru. The ganja was wrapped in plastic and transported in gunny bags.

A 27-year-old man was caught carrying 28 kg of ganja near Mylasandra Gate on Mysuru Road. It was from AP, and meant for sale in Bengaluru.

A 29-year-old Ugandan woman, who landed at KIA, was carrying drugs concealed inside six soap wrappers, a bottle of body lotion and a bottle of shampoo. She had checked in the luggage in Uganda and flew in to Bengaluru via Abu Dhabi.

Cocaine, LSD blots and MDMA were seized from a Bengaluru techie’s apartment.

Men in mufti deputed to contain drug menace

“There are various ways of transporting drugs. The camouflage is intelligent and keeps changing according to the situation. Last year, in a joint operation, a special team from NCB Bangalore and Andhra Pradesh police were instrumental in destroying 4000 acres of ganja crop in a remote village in Andhra Pradesh,” the officer told Metrolife.

He adds that there are NCB men in mufti deputed at all nodal points across the city to keep a close watch on any suspicious characters.

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Ganja smuggled to city from AP

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