Kottayam: Many of the sons of the soil from Idukki, the home of 'Idukki gold' once, are now doing highly 'rewarding' jobs in Andhra Pradesh. They are cultivating ganja and producing hashish oil there using their expertise, with Idukki becoming out of bounds following the crackdown by the authorities on narcotics.
This is the information gathered by the enforcement agencies from the ganja pedlars who have been arrested.
Over 500 people from Idukki district are cultivating ganja and producing hashish oil, a derivative of ganja, at Paderu and Alakam near Visakhapatnam, it is learnt.
Mr P.K. Satheesh, state excise department squad member and excise circle inspector, Palakkad, told DC that the accused who were arrested with ganja from Palakkad had revealed that people from Adimaly, Kattapana, Rajakadu, Parathode and Thankamany in Idukki district were engaged in the ganja cultivation mainly at Paderu and Alakam near Visakhapatnam.
One kilogram of hashish oil could be extracted from 30 to 40 kg of dried ganja or 50 to 60 kg of raw ganja. The golden-greenish hashish oil costs up to Rs 1 crore in the international market. The Idukki natives carry the ganja in private vehicles to Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam or Thoothukudy and from there to Mali and Malaysia.
Another excise enforcement squad member and circle inspector Anilkumar based in Thiruvananthapuram told DC that the excise had seized 105 kg of hashish oil from 14 luxury vehicles and arrested 30 accused in separate cases last year. "In most cases, the pedlars used to carry it in secret chambers and inside the door panel of the vehicles," he added. It is also carried in the cover of Vanaspathi oil and inside pickle. From July onwards, they have seized 146 kg of ganja from Palakkad. "Most of the people are from Idukki district who are skilled in ganja cultivation and the manufacture of hashish oil," Mr Satheesh added.
The excise squad had seized 23 kg of hashish oil from Nombikodu on the Palakkad-Pollachi road and arrested Anoop George, a native of Parathode in Idukki, on July 30 night.
In one acre of land, 600 ganja saplings could be grown. According to the excise department, ganja is widely cultivated in the tribal-dominated areas of Visakhapatnam, Khammam, Karimnagar and Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh and in the districts of Orissa, Rayagada, Brahmapur, Mohana and Gajapathi....