Hyderabad: Gangs involved in smuggling cannabis are moving over to newer methods to stay under the radar of law enforcement agencies.
So while some are taking to travelling higher class on trains or at least in AC coaches with their contraband, some others have taken recourse to changing mobile phones and SIM cards for every new smuggling operation.
“Gangs change their modus operandi periodically in the face of frequent checking on-board trains. Unlike earlier, they carry several small handbags and travel in AC coaches presuming there are fewer checks there,” said a railway police official.
Of late, cannabis (ganja) suppliers, mostly operating from Odhisa and Andhra Pradesh, buy a new mobile phone and SIM for the person who transports the contraband to the destination. “Generally, unwary rural folk bound for cities and towns in Maharashtra, Delhi and Karnataka are lured to carry the contraband. They are given a train ticket and a few hundred rupees,” said government railway police inspector S. Chandriah.
The consignment sender remains in touch with the carrier over phone till he hands over the contraband to the designated person at the destination. “The moment the task is done, they dump or destroy the phone and the SIM. A different phone and SIM are used for the next transaction. This makes it difficult to track them. However, we have alerted our counterparts at several places about how the smugglers have changed tack and use SIMSs bought on fictitious names,” the inspector said.
Some time ago, the offenders had taken to travelling in AC coaches and spending a few thousands on train tickets. Given the large sums they make from the illegal activity, it suits them to buy an expensive train ticket and get the contraband across to the buyer. In a typical case, cannabis bought for `2,000 is sold for `20,000 in big cities. At some places, they refine ganja to make the much more expensive hashish, police said.
GRP Secunderabad seized about 2,000 kg of cannabis and registered 15 cases this year alone....