Hyderabad: The Rachakonda police busted an interstate ganja smuggling gang on Thursday and arrested five persons and seized 1,820 kg of ganja. The gang was smuggling marijuana from Sileru in Andhra Pradesh to Maharashtra via Narsipatnam, Rajahmundry, Kodad Suryapet, Choutuppal, and Hyderabad.
On 25 November, the sleuths of the special operations team (SOT), LB Nagar zone, along with the Abdullapurmet police apprehended five interstate drug peddlers identified as Sanjay Balaji Kale (30), Abhiman Kalyan Pawar (49), Sanjay Chowgule (45), Bharat Kolappa Yewle (37), and Shek Rahidul (27). All of them are from Maharashtra except Rahidul who is from West Bengal. One gang member, Sanjay Laxman Shinde (26) of Osmanabad district in Maharashtra is absconding.
A week ago, Sanjay Laxman Shinde ordered 2,000 kg of ganja from his supplier in the Sileru agency area. As surveillance has been tightened in both Telangana and AP, he engaged Shek Rahidul to transport the ganja from Sileru to Osmanabad in Maharashtra.
On 23 November, Rahidul went to Sileru in his lorry and loaded it with bags containing black soil. He parked the vehicle in a remote forest area. The supplier then took the lorry, loaded 182 packets of ganja containing 10 kg each, and hid it under the black soil bags. The supplier parked the lorry at the same place and Rahidul picked up the vehicle.
Meanwhile, Sanjay Balaji Kale, Abhiman Kalyan Pawar, Sanjay Chowgule, and Bharat came to Hyderabad in a car and were waiting at the Panthangi toll plaza in Choutuppal. When the ganja-laden lorry crossed the toll plaza, they received it.
On Thursday, the joint team of SOT LB Nagar zone and the Abdullapurmet police caught the five gang members near ORR under the limits of Abdullapurmet. Besides the contraband, the police also seized 10 lorry tyres, a car, cash worth Rs. 41,000, seven mobile phones – all worth Rs. 3,07,93,000.
The accused said they purchased the ganja at Rs. 8,000 per kg and sold it to customers for Rs. 15,000 per kg.