Over 1,600 kg of ganja worth around Rs 2.45 crore was seized from a truck and four people were arrested in this connection, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) in Visakhapatnam said on Thursday.
Based on a tip-off that narcotics were being illegally transported, the truck and a car, which was piloting the goods carrier, were intercepted in Visakhapatnam. During the search, 1,638 kg of cannabis concealed under a load of banana stalks in the truck were found.
"Officers found 40 bags concealed under a load of banana stalks. On opening the 40 bags, a total of 800 brown packets of cannabis were found totally weighing 1,638 kg," a DRI press release stated.
The market value of the seized substance was estimated to be Rs 2.45 crore.
"The contraband was loaded into the goods carriage near Narsipatnam and the same was handed over to the driver near Anakapalle on February 26. The ganja has been procured from the Visakhapatnam Agency area and was destined for Bhubaneswar," the DRI added.
Four people, who were allegedly involved in the illegal transport of ganja, were arrested.
"The officers also seized the goods vehicle valued at Rs 15.86 lakh along with banana stalks, which has been used for concealment and transport of the contraband," the DRI said.
Further investigation is underway, the officials added.
Meanwhile, in another drug bust, officials of the Excise and Prohibition Department from Narsipatnam seized 600 kg of ganja worth Rs 70 lakh, and arrested two persons, after they intercepted a van that was on its way to transport the narcotic substance to Patna.
The Agency areas of Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram district in Andhra Pradesh are known for large-scale ganja cultivation, as farmers living in the eastern ghats along the Andhra-Odisha border cultivate the high-quality 'Sheelavathi' variety of the crop.
From here, the ganja is smuggled to several places including Visakhapatnam city, Vijayawada, Hyderabad and sometimes even as far as Bengaluru.