80 kg ganja seized near Muvattupuzha, 4 held

Representational image

Muvattupuzha: Excise has seized 80 kg of ganja from a lorry near here and also nabbed four people, including a 61-year-old man and his son.

Thodupuzha native Thankachan, 61, and his son Arun, 24, Vannappuram native Abnis Nassar, 25, and Nithin, 26, are the accused.

The ganja, smuggled in from Andhra Pradesh, was reportedly being taken to a godown at Vannappuram in the national permit lorry. Excise intensified inspection after the four culprits disclosed that 1,400 kg of ganja had been stashed away at the godown.

Following a tip-off received by the Excise Central Zone Commissioner's squad, the Thrissur Excise special squad led by Circle Inspector P Junaid followed the lorry and seized the ganja.

The driver of the lorry did not stop for vehicle inspection at Perumbavoor on Saturday morning. The excise team then chased the lorry. Those in the vehicle kept changing their SIM cards and phones to send messages and hence it was difficult to locate them using the tower location.

After it became clear that the lorry was travelling on the Thodupuzha route, the excise team split and carried out checks on two routes. After searching for long, the lorry was intercepted near Iype Memorial School at Kalloorkad.

"The accused smuggled in the contraband from Andhra Pradesh in large quantities and had sold it to several peddlers en route. We could only seize the remaining 80 kg," said Junaid.

The accused have earlier transported ganja from Maharashtra as well. Available for Rs 3,000 - Rs 7,000 per kg in Andhra Pradesh, the substance was sold here for up to Rs 40,000, as per information obtained by Excise officials.

Assistant Commissioner B Tennymon said that a detailed probe is underway and the checks would be intensified.

Excise Inspectors V S Pradeep and K Manikandan, Assistant Excise Inspectors V Harish and K S Shibu, Preventive Officers O N Ajayakumar and Shibu Kumar, Civil Excise Officers K M Robin, P X Ruban, Mujeeb Rahman, Anil Prasad, Ranjith Kumar, and B Ajith Kumar are part of the probe team.

Caught for the first time

Though the gang had brought in ganja from Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra several times before, this is the first time they have been caught, according to Excise officers.

They reportedly got the money from Dubai to buy ganja. Idukki native Nassar provided the money needed for buying the contraband and other drugs. Nassar also gave financial assistance for setting up the godown at Vannappuram.

The culprits communicated through apps such as Telegram and IMO. We have got information about Nassar and steps have been taken to arrest him, said Junaid.

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.