KOZHIKODE: Seems like Kerala is turning out to be the most favoured destination for ganja traffickers across the country.
For the amount of cannabis that reached the state in 2016 was at least 10 times the quantity in 2015. Latest figures released by the Ministry of Home Affairs show 3.9 tonnes of ganja were seized in Kerala in 2016 while it was just 810 kg in 2015.
State Excise Department Additional Excise Commissioner (Enforcement) A Vijayan said the rise in quantity seized indicates the increase in flow of ganja to the state.
Intelligence officers believe every capture indicates there are consignments that manage to slip in. So the quantity of ganja seized indicates a good amount is being consumed in the state.
“Ganja traffickers from across the country have been pushing the contraband to Kerala owing to the rise in demand in the last two years,” Vijayan said.
He agreed the increase in seizures is also because enforcement agencies are hot on the drug trail. “The agencies are doing all they can to bust the ganja trade route,” he said.
The drug web
Police and excise departments are going after Facebook pages that ganja dealers have created to push the product and attract youngsters.
Police officers said the users are increasingly opting for marijuana-infused foods or oil to get high. “The foods and oil are much harder to detect compared to raw ganja because they don’t have the typical intense smell of marijuana,” an officer said.
As it is easy to carry and transport in form of candies, cakes and oils, traffickers push such products more, he said. “These products contain more of THC,” the officer said. THC is the active ingredient in marijuana that contributes to the feeling of being high.
Intelligence officers said close to 10 consignments slip in for every consignment captured. They believe cartels have struck deals with the patrolling teams to let in a particular number of consignments. “Traffickers study the tactics and strategies of the agencies and adapt quickly. They also pump in money to bribe the officers,” the officers said.