HYDERABAD: Talk about being ready in advance. To cater to the New Year eve demand for ganja in Goa, Maharashtra and Karnataka, cultivators at the Andhra Orissa Border (AOB), Araku-Visakhapatnam, Amalapuram, Chhattisgarh, Warangal, Khammam and Nizamabad border have harvested the plants and are preparing the narcotic in large quantities, reliable sources from agency areas revealed.
The ‘yield’ will be ready soon and dispatch is scheduled to start by the first week of November, sources said. According to them, several tonnes of the banned substance have been stacked in safe houses in state borders.
Smugglers had reportedly made advance payments to the cultivators in August for supply of the ‘Sheelavati’ brand, which is in demand in Maharashtra, Goa and bengaluru. This was stated by Banu alias Gopi, a former marijuana cultivator, who quit the trade.
He said these smugglers do not get directly involved, and hire vehicles from other states. “They will change the route on the spur of the moment. I have heard that they are planning to use express trains for their operations,” said Limboo, a former Nepalese peddler, who now runs a restaurant in Ooty.
Sources said bulk buyers from Maharashtra such as Shameem Begum alias Shaheen Begum and Majid Khan, who are still wanted by the city police, have contacted their regular customers from Goa, Pune and Dharavi. They were said to be not aware that peddlers and cultivators from Andhra Pradesh and other states had increased the price from Rs 18,000 to Rs 30,000 per kg.
Visualizing a high-risk factor in transporting the contraband via Telangana, the Rachakonda, Cyberabad and the city police said they had developed a vast network and sources of information. Most former peddlers who have been arrested have turned police informers.
“We have expanded our network of information in Andhra Pradesh. Our teams are coordinating with AP police. As per our information, the peddlers who were arrested confessed that they did not want to smuggle the contraband via Telangana as there is a heavy risk of getting caught,” a senior police official said....