Malkangiri: As many as nine persons were arrested by Malkangiri police at Pangam near Kaudiguda village in the district on Saturday for allegedly smuggling ganja. A total of thirty-seven bags of contraband weighing around 546 kilograms were seized.
The accused were identified as Rajaram Harijan, Ratan Bhatra, Sama Dami, Chaitan Harijan, Jagabandhu Harijan, Rainu Harijan, Chandra Harijan, Bhaskar Harijan, and Laxman Harijan.
Acting on a tip-off regarding transportation of ganja, Mathili police intercepted them while they were headed towards Gariaguda alongside Pangam river bank with loads on their shoulders.
On being interrogated, the accused persons disclosed that they were transporting the illegal consignment from Chitrakonda area to Nabarangpur for selling it at a higher price.
Police also searched the nearby area and found 16 more polythene bags which were thrown away by the other culprits, who managed to escape after seeing the police raid.
Efforts are on to trace other absconding persons involved in the smuggling, while an investigation is underway, said the police, adding that the accused has been forwarded to the court.