The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and the 41 battalion of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) seized 347 kg of poppy straw in a joint operation at Ghoshpukur toll plaza on National Highway-34 in Siliguri last evening.

One person has been arrested during the operation, while the straw was being smuggled to Nepal. The agencies first intercepted a tractor near a Shiva temple.

On searching the vehicle, they found it was loaded with gunny bags consisting of the poppy straws. “We seized the contraband and arrested a resident of Kishanganj in Bihar, Gopal Mahato.

The poppy straw originated in Malda district and was being smuggled to Nepal. The straw weighed 347 kg,” director of the NCB, Kolkata Zonal Unit, Dilip Srivastava, said.

The estimated value of the straw in the illegal market is Rs 20 lakh. The arrested person was produced in the Siliguri court on Thursday.

It may be mentioned that the NCB and the 8th battalion of the SSB had seized 8000 Yaba (ethamphetamine) tablets and arrested one person in a joint operation at Hakim Para in Siliguri on 8 February.