Police seize Rs 96.50 lakh bank deposits of 2 arrested ganja smugglers in Odisha

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Koraput, Mar 11 (PTI) Police in Odisha's Koraput district has seized illegally acquired property in the form of bank deposits worth Rs 96.50 lakh from two arrested ganja smugglers, an officer said.

The arrested accused have been identified as Gopinath Nirgi and Sudarshan Panigrahi, both residents of Jolaput under Nandapur block in the district.

While Rs 67.69 lakh was seized from the bank accounts of Nirgi, bank deposit of Rs 21.80 lakh was seized from the accounts of Panigrahi, the police said.

Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Jeypore, Arup Abhisekh Behera said the two accused persons were arrested on August 9, 2020 with at least 937 kg of ganja by a team of Jeypore Sadar Police Station.

Soon after the arrest, it was decided to track their financial transactions to break the financial chain of the ganja racket, he said.

A detailed inquiry was done about the financial transactions of the arrested duo in coordination with various departments and banks, he said.

'It took nearly four months for us to track down the financial transactions of the accused persons and in the past six months they have done bank deposits of Rs 96.50 lakh. The cash has been deposited in their accounts from various parts of the country through ATM counters,' the SDPO said.

Following the investigation, the police approached the competent authority and administrator under the narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances (NDPS) Act 1985 in February for forfeiture of properties of the accused duo and after receiving permission on March 9, the bank deposits have been seized.

'Our investigation in various ganja smuggling cases are on and in coming days more of such illegally acquired properties through ganja trade could be confiscated,' said DIG (south-western range) Rajesh Pandit.

Earlier, in November 2020, police in Nabarangpur district had seized illegally acquired property from ganja trade worth Rs 4.77 crore from three ganja smugglers and had also traced cash transactions of around Rs 4.59 crore from them, police sources said. PTI COR AAM RG RG