Excise team seizes 107 kg ganja, arrests two at Kasaragod-Karnataka border

  • 52 packets, each weighing a little above 2kg, were stacked in a secret cavity in the driver's cabin of a pickup
  • The contraband is valued at Rs 15 lakh to Rs Rs 25 lakh, said officials
The arrested persons Shaheer of Kumbla and Shereef of Perla are commercial vehicle drivers . Photo: Special Arrangement

Kasaragod: An Excise team has seized 107 kg of marijuana and arrested two persons in Kasaragod at the Kerala-Karnataka border Sunday night, said a top official.

The contraband was being smuggled into Kerala in a pickup from Andhra Pradesh, said Deputy Excise Commissioner Jayaraj P K. The arrested persons Shaheer Rahim (36) of Kumbla and Shareef (52) of Perla are commercial vehicle drivers and come across as well-experienced in transporting narcotics, said Jayaraj.

The officer valued the marijuana at Rs 15 lakh in the wholesale market and Rs 25 lakh in the retail market.

The Excise Enforcement & Anti-Narcotic Special Squad intercepted the vehicle after it crossed the Excise Check Post at Perla in Enmakaje grama panchayat on State Highway 31 between 8.50 pm and 9 pm on Sunday.

The Anti-Narcotic Squad found that the marijuana was kept in a specially built secret cavity welded behind the driver's seat inside the cabin. "The secret cavity was 23cm wide and ran across the length and breadth of the cabin. It was fully upholstered with rexine fabric. "When our team ripped off the rexine, they found a metal sheet screwed on top of the container," said Jayaraj. The Excise team reportedly found 52 rectangular packets, each weighing a little above 2kg, stacked inside the cavity, he said.

The Excise squad has impounded the pickup, which is a new vehicle, he said. According to sources, the owner of the vehicle is a big shot and may become an accused as the investigation progresses.

The two arrested persons -- Shaheer Rahim and Shareef -- were charged under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. Since the seizure is of commercial quantity, that is above 20kg, the accused, if convicted, will face a rigorous imprisonment of 10 years to 20 years, and a fine of Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2 lakh.

A day ago, the Anti Narcotics Squad of Kerala Police seized 3 kilograms of hash oil and 77 kg of marijuana in Thrissur's Kuthiran on the Salem-Kochi National Highway.

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