Puri: Intensifying crackdown on brown sugar smugglers in the Pilgrim town of Puri, the police on Thursday arrested eight persons involved in the illegal drugs trade and seized contraband worth Rs 26 lakhs from them.
The action came in the wake of a viral video showing the unabated sale of brown sugar at Nolia Sahi within Baseli Sahi police station limits in the Puri town area. On the direction of Puri SP Kanwar Vishal Singh, a Special Squad was formed to curb the illegal drug trade in the town area.
Today, the personnel of the Special Squad and Baseli Sahi police station apprehended three smugglers and five women peddlers from Nolia Sahi. The squad seized 268 grams of brown sugar estimated to be worth around Rs 26 lakh, Rs 35,000 in cash, five mobile phones and one motorcycle from the arrested persons.
The accused smugglers hailing from Nolia Sahi have been identified as Santu Behera, Kamal Behera and Mitu Behera while the peddlers were identified as. Babita Behera, Bini Nayak, Neelmani Nayak, Kanak Behera and Geeta Behera. All the arrested have been booked under Section 21(c) of the NDPS Act and forwarded to the court today.
Addressing a presser here today, Puri Additional SP Mihir Panda said that a raid was conducted at Nolia Sahi following inputs about brown sugar traders peddling the drugs through some women to avoid suspicion. All the arrested persons involved in the racket have been forwarded to the court today, he added.
Over the past few months, there has been a widespread seizure of brown sugar in the Pilgrim town of Puri with the arrest of several smugglers. Puri Police is also continuing a special drive to track the masterminds of the brown sugar trade.