The Special Enforcement Bureau of Andhra Pradesh police arrested five people, including a father-son duo, in Visakhapatnam on Saturday, November 27, in connection with alleged smuggling of cannabis through e-commerce site Amazon. The SEB seized 48 kg of ganja from the main accused, according to its joint director S Satish Kumar. Srinivasa Rao and his son Mohan Raju were reportedly found operating out of a rented house in Kancharapalem area of the city. They were allegedly acting as suppliers to online vendors smuggling ganja to Madhya Pradesh, according to the Times of India.
The Bhind police in Madhya Pradesh recently busted a cannabis trade racket that used the online route to smuggle ganja from Visakhapatnam district. Amazon had said in a statement that it does not allow sale of illegal products through its platform and it was cooperating with the probe in the matter.
Two persons, Suraj and Mukul Jaiswal of Madhya Pradesh, allegedly created a business firm to carry out ganja trade, by registering as a vendor on Amazon. The SEB official said the duo used GST numbers of other firms to ship the contraband from Visakhapatnam. According to the Times of India, the ganja was smuggled in the guise of stevia leaves (a natural sweetener). The father-son duo of Srinivasa Rao and Mohan Raju acted as their suppliers, according to the SEB official. Along with the father-son duo, the SEB arrested two pick-up associates and a van driver of Amazon, he added.
Earlier in November, Bhind district police in Madhya Pradesh had registered an FIR against unnamed Amazon India officials after busting a gang which allegedly supplied ganja under the guise of selling stevia through the e-commerce portal. Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra had said that a case has been registered against the executive directors of Amazon in Bhind under Section 38 of the NDPS (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances) Act.