1,350 kg of marijuana recovered in State
The arrest of an autorickshaw driver in Bengaluru in August led the police on a drug trail that resulted in the unearthing of a huge haul — 1,350 kg of marijuana — across three districts in the State.
Around 1,200 kg of it was hidden in a secret chamber in a “sheep farm” in Kalaburagi.
It all started when the Seshadripuram police caught a 37-year-old autorickshaw driver allegedly selling marijuana in the last week of August, leading them to one of the biggest marijuana hauls ever.
Based on a tip-off , Seshadripuram inspector M.L. Krishnamurthy caught Jnanashekhar near Gayathri Nagar and seized 2.01 kg of marijuana from him. Jnanashekhar told the police that he was buying marijuana from Siddunath Lavate, 22, from Sindgi taluk in Vijayapura district.
A police team went to Sindgi and recovered 150 kg of marijuana from him. During questioning, Siddunath Lavate revealed the names of Naganath, 39, and Chandrakanth, 34, from Kalaburagi. It was here that they came across a secret underground chamber built to store marijuana. According to the police, Siddunath Lavate owns several acres of land in his home town, and was peddling marijuana to his contacts across the State. The marijuana was sourced from Andhra Pradesh.
Naganath, a local financier, who incurred huge losses in business during the lockdown teamed up with his associate Chandrakanth and got into drug peddling to recover the losses.
The duo sourced marijuana from Odisha and smuggled it in goods van concealing the contraband under fodder for the sheep they were rearing.
The accused had built a sheep farm but there were no sheep. When the police arrested the duo and took them to the farm, the two led them to the secret chamber where marijuana was being stored.
The accused told the police that they sold marijuana to their contacts across the State, and even in Mumbai.
The accused were arrested and a huge quantity of marijuana was seized, which, according to Bengaluru Police Commissioner Kamal Pant, is the biggest seizure so far.