Twelve people were arrested in Bihar and Jharkhand last week and over 1,655 kg of cannabis was seized from them by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), officials in the central anti-narcotics agency said on Sunday.
The contraband was seized from trucks with national permit and other vehicles, and in one instance, cannabis was concealed inside peanut bags, they said.
“Based on intelligence inputs of a large quantity of ganja (cannabis) being transported from the Andhra Pradesh-Odisha border to Bihar and Jharkhand, the Patna zonal unit seized the cache on July 15-16,” NCB deputy director (operations) KPS Malhotra said in a statement.
“This resulted in crackdown on two ganja trafficking networks,” he said.
Malhotra said that a total of 1,655 kg of cannabis was seized in two operations conducted by the NCB in Bihar and Jharkhand last week and 12 people were arrested.
“In one of the cases, the traffickers used the garb of peanut transport to smuggle the contraband,” the officer said.
The busting of this drug network, operating out of Odisha, will prove to be a major achievement in combating the menace of cannabis smuggling in not only this region but will be a blow to such networks operating all over the country, he said.
“The NCB has launched a systematic investigation into these cases with special focus on the financial trail of this network, and links are also being investigated if the proceeds were possibly going into anti-state activities especially in Naxal-affected areas.”
“Illicit ganja cultivation is often known to occur in areas prone to insurgency and extremism,” Malhotra said.
It is the harvest season for cannabis, which is a short-term cash crop, the officer added.