Police sources told DTNext that TP Chathiram, the ‘capital of ganja trade in the city’, has largely remained untouched during such ‘operations’.
Moreover, the main operative and two sub agents, who supply ganja to other parts of Chennai are thriving in their trade, sources said.
“There are at least three ‘factories’ in TP Chathiram that process and package ganja smuggled in from Andhra Pradesh. These are the wholesale centres of ganja trade in the city. Though the police are aware about the underbelly, they seldom do anything to ruffle the feathers of the powerful ganja racket in the area,” an official said.
He claimed that a woman was the leader of the gang and she has two sub agents.
Explaining the cycle, he said, “When the business flourishes, a seizure is recorded at TP Chathiram. The police arrest one of the regular peddlers based on specific information and recover one to two kg of the contraband. The peddler will be out on bail after 15 or 30 days and continue to smuggle the leaves as the trial of the case will drag in the courts of law.”
The use of ganja has become so common that now there are people talking about legalising marijuana. Even a section of the police claim that it would be better if it was legalised with tax option, so that at least some portion of the profit would come to the government.
“Now it is the drug peddlers and law enforcement agencies who are benefiting from the illicit trade,” a senior police official said.
The main supply for the TP Chathiram comes from gangs based in Kallar and Chennai Central station areas. They smuggle the contraband in large quantities, mostly from Andhra Pradesh by road and supply to the main agent in TP Chathiram.
“TP Chathiram is the zone where several hundreds of kilograms of ganja is processed and supplied in bulk to smaller peddlers across the city. The usage has gone up considerably as smoking weed is once again catching up as a habit among youngsters. On one hand, we are not curbing the illegal trade and on the other hand lament about the increase in usage,” the official added.