Intensifying its crackdown on narcotic substances, the Special Task Force (STF) wing of the crime branch on Saturday claimed to have made a seizure of brown sugar valued at more than Rs one crore in Balasore town by arresting three drug peddlers.
Three drug peddlers identified as Seikh Jamir, Pravat Kumar Sethy and Jasobant Bagh possessing 1.105 kilogram of brown sugar- were arrested from a hotel in Sahadevkhunta area in Balasore town. Cash of over Rs 85,000 was also seized from them.
In the current year, the STF has seized 23.276 kilograms of brown sugar. The seized narcotics would have fetched the drug peddlers over Rs 23 crore in the international market, said Special Task Force (STF) officials. The increased crackdown on drug peddlers could be gauged from the fact that the cumulative seizure of brown sugar in the 10 months of 2020 is more than two-fold than the drug haul of the past seven years. 25 cases of interception of brown sugar occurred this year while 47 drug peddlers have so far been arrested.
The arrested drug peddlers had procured the banned substances from Murshidabad in West Bengal and had planned to smuggle it to Bhubaneswar. Incidentally Balasore and Mayurbhanj districts bordering Bengal have become the gateway to drug peddling networks in Odisha.
The organized rackets of drug peddlers based in Balasore and Mayurbhanj districts have spread their network to major urban centres- Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Puri, Rourkela, Sambalpur, and Puri- of the State, they added.