The Port City has been a gateway for ganja trade, followed by a number of seizures in the previous years. In February this year, about 1200 kgs of cannabis, with a street value of 50 lakhs, transported in oil tankers has been seized by the officials and the five smugglers were arrested. The officials have been suspecting that Maoists are involved in cultivation of the plant and have been using the money gained from its sale for their activities.
Advanced Data Processing Research Institute (ADRIN), which is part of the Department of Space, Govt. of India, was able to spot ganja cultivation areas successfully, in the dense forests of Visakhapatnam, and a day later on Monday, the officials seized about 585 kgs of ganja, near the Peddapeta junction in Rolugunta Mandal.
As per the reports of The New Indian Express, the cops arrested four people, who are believed to be part of a seven-member gang, as they were shifting 270 packets of ganja, stuffed in 18 bags inside drums meant for carrying chemicals in a truck.
After three patches were spotted by ADRIN, the Prohibition and Excise department together with the armed forces went to these areas and confirmed the cultivation of ganja followed by the crop being destroyed and the tribals instructed to not form a part of ganja cultivation.
AP CM Chandra Babu Naidu has instructed to take strict actions against the people indulging in ganja cultivation and Mandal-level committees were formed to identify villages where marijuana is cultivated by farmers for money including the installation of CCTV cameras in identified routes.
The government also added that it will help the farmers and other people involved in various levels of the trade by providing them with alternate employment.