Four people were arrested for allegedly trying to smuggle around Rs 55 lakh worth of narcotics and tobacco products from Telangana to Andhra Pradesh.
The police said that the banned items, which included a few kg of ganja, were found concealed in a jeep carrying vegetables after it was stopped at Donakonda checkpost in Andhra, based on a tip-off.
Besides the jeep, an autorickshaw, four cellphones and Rs 6.30 lakh in cash were seized from the arrested, they said.
A case has been registered and investigation has begun, they added.
Andhra Pradesh: Police seized Gutka worth Rs 54 lakhs, 5.5 kg Ganja, prohibited foreign cigarettes and Rs 6.3 lakhs cash in Krishna district today. They also arrested 4 persons in this regard. pic.twitter.com/UXnR9T2dOkâ€” ANI (@ANI) June 20, 2020
Authorities at the border of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have been seizing a lot of illicit liquor and alcohol as well since lockdown restrictions were eased in both the states in May.
Officials in Andhra Pradesh have made several arrests across three districts â€” Krishna, Guntur and Kurnool â€”which border Telangana. They said that people were trying to smuggle in liquor from Telangana and sell it at a cheaper rate amid the lockdown.
The Andhra Pradesh government had prohibited the sale of liquor in red zones and had hiked the tax on liquor in other zones by 75%, while the Telangana government has allowed the sale of liquor across the state and is selling it at a hike of 16%.
As a result, some smugglers are attempting to cross the border to Telangana, purchase alcohol for a cheaper rate and sell it in Telangana.
"Certain incidents of illegal smuggling of liquor are in our cognisance. We have constituted special teams with officers from police and excise departments, which are working together to tackle such activities," Inspector-General of Police (IGP-Enforcement) and Director of Excise and Prohibition, Vineet Brijlal had told TNM last month.
The Andhra Pradesh government also constituted a Special Enforcement Bureau which had booked 7,200 persons on charge of involvement in smuggling of liquor and sand in just 15 days in May.