Hyderabad: Although the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), police and the excise department are cracking down on marijuana smugglers ‘Araku mal’ still finds its way into Hyderabad.
The drug smugglers now avoid the services of 'usual suspects' for transporting the weed, and are choosing middle-aged women. Sources say women from poverty-riddled families are offered a few thousands to go to Hyderabad on train with a normal bag containing ganja. Some are also given assignments to go to Mumbai.
It is very difficult for enforcement agencies to detect these smugglers at railway stations in Hyderabad as lakhs of women carry bags here. It is impossible for police to frisk all passengers. A marijuana peddler, who was earlier arrested by police and is now out on bail, revealed how drug runners are successfully evading enforcement agencies.
“Chintapalli in Vishakhapatnam is one of the places where women meet drug runners. The marijuana cultivated in the high ranges of Vishakhapatnam district is well-packed and brought to this village to be handed over to the women, who travel with it to the Visakhapatnam railway station and board trains to Hyderabad or Mumbai,” he said on condition of anonymity.
The women are offered round trip train tickets in general compartments and Rs 5,000 to go to Hyderabad and hand over the bag to an agent who will be present a few hundred metres outside the railway station.
“The gang buys one kg marijuana for Rs 3,000 from Vizag and they sell to the Hyderabadi peddler for Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000 depending upon quality. Each woman carries 30 kg in two bags which will also contain some old clothes to hide the weed. Compared to the profits the gangs make, they pay only a meagre amount to the women,” the source said.
“Most of these women are compelled to take up smuggling due to poverty. For them, Rs 5,000 is a huge amount,” said another source. Hyderabad police says that they caught a woman smuggler from Vizag with a bag full of weed last year.
“The 40-year-old woman was from Guntur working for an agent named Rakesh based in Vizag,” said a police official from CCS.