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Two ganja gangs busted, 12 arrested:

Vizag city police seize 226 kg of refined dry ganja

In a major jolt to the ganja smuggling racket in the city, the City Task Force (CTF) arrested 12 members of two gangs and seized about 226 kg of refined dry ganja.

For the first time in the recent times that such a huge quantity of marijuana was seized within the city limits and the arrested persons, include a couple of middlemen and traders from the Agency areas of the district.

The first gang comprising six members were arrested at about 3 a.m. on Tuesday, near LIC building, and they were carrying about 170 kg of marijuana, which was neatly packed in 2 kg packets each. The police also seized one Tavera sports utility vehicle and seven cell phones. All the arrested belong to Araku mandal.

The second six-member gang was arrested near Rama Talkies at about 5 a.m. on the same day and the police recovered 56 kg of dry ganja, one auto-rickshaw, one Yamaha R15 motorbike, one Vespa scooter and four cell phones. All the arrested are from Guntur, who have made Gajuwaka their temporary base.

According to Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) T. Ravi Kumar Murthy, both the gangs were waiting for some agents or purchasers from other states, who did not turn up. “Based on reliable information we intercepted the gangs and arrested them. The seized contraband stuff is estimated to be worth about Rs. 11.30 lakh,” said Mr. Ravi Kumar Murthy.

Ganja or marijuana is grown unhindered in the Maoist stronghold of Andhra Odisha Border in the Agency areas of Visakhapatnam district and there is a well-developed network to dry, refine and smuggle it out to various corners of the country.

The network works very systematically. It changes five to six hands before it is sold in the upscale markets in Delhi or Mumbai.

According to the ACP of CTF I. Chittibabu, a trader or middleman buys it from a farmer for about Rs. 1,000 per kg and by the time it exchanges two other hands, the price goes up to Rs. 5,000 in Visakhapatnam city and by the time it lands up in New Delhi the price shoots up to Rs. 16,000 per kg.

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