A drug peddler, facing trial in a murder case and bailed out after four years of judicial custody, was arrested on Wednesday under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act provisions with the recovery of 170 kilograms of cannabis, locally called ganja, from his possession.
The accused Mahendra Behera was arrested near P.N.High school in Jatani on the outskirts of the city with the contraband. He was smuggling the banned substances in a luxury vehicle when the STF sleuths acting on a tipoff intercepted him with the drug haul, a senior official of Special Task Force (STF) of the crime branch said.
The arrested drug paddler Behera was earlier booked in a murder case in the Jatni police station area and was in judicial custody for more than four years. Bailed out in the murder case, Behera, still facing trial under section-302 IPC, had resorted to drug peddling.
The drug peddler booked under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) is being remanded to judicial custody, said officials adding that further investigation is underway to ascertain whether he was supplying drugs to other parts of the State.
The STF is relentlessly continuing its operation on drug peddlers across the State. And that is paying rich dividends. Since 2020, the STF has seized more than 47 kilograms of brown sugar. This apart, 89 quintals of cannabis locally called Ganja, a banned substance, were also seized during the period. Since 2020, STF has arrested as many as 121 drug peddlers, Deputy Inspector General of Police, STF, Jay Narayan Pankaj said.