In one of the biggest drug haul, the Special Task Force (STF) wing of the crime branch on Thursday made a seizure of brown sugar valued at more than Rs two crore in the international drug market.
A drug peddler possessing 2.012 kilogram of brown sugar was nabbed at Basta in Balasore district. The interception of a huge cache of the banned substances is the fourth biggest seizure since 2020.
Incidentally, over Rs 2 crore worth banned substances was seized for the second time in the current month in Bengal-bordering Balasore district. On 4 June, two drug peddlers possessing 2.066 kilogram of brown sugar worth were intercepted at Jaleswar marketplace in Balasore district.
On 19 June, 2020, STF in the State’s biggest ever drug bust had made a seizure of 4.486 kilo grams of brown sugar (valued at around Rs 5 crore) by arresting three-drug peddlers at Rasulgarh chowk in Bhubaneswar. A drug peddler possessing 3.285-kilo grams of brown sugar was intercepted in Mayurbhanj district on 20 July last year.
The STF is continuing its well-orchestrated operation on drug peddlers across the State. And that is paying rich dividends. In the past 18 months, the STF has seized 34 kilo grams of brown sugar. The seized narcotics would have fetched the drug peddlers nearly Rs 34 crore in the international market, said Deputy Inspector General of Police, STF, Jay Narayan Pankaj.
The increased crackdown on drug peddlers could be gauged from the fact that the cumulative seizure of brown sugar in the past 18 months is more than three-fold than of drug haul of the past eight years.
The banned substances are making their way to Odisha from Murshidabad in West Bengal. Balasore district bordering Bengal has become the gateway to drug peddling networks in the State. The source point of brown sugar trade in the State owes its origin to Murshidabad. The organized rackets of drug peddlers based in Balasore have spread their network to major urban centres- Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Puri, Rourkela, Sambalpur and Puri- of the State, STF officials concluded.