CHENNAI: With 2022 marking a policy decision by the government to be strict on drug peddlers, the seizures of ganja and other narcotic substances increased in 2022 in compared to the previous year in the city.
In 2022, the Greater Chennai Police (GCP) seized 1,759 kg of ganja, about 300 kg more than the previous year.
The number of cases registered was higher in 2022 too. The total worth of drugs seized in 2021 was Rs 7,crore which was almost doubled to Rs 12.7 crore in the year 2022. In GCP limits, particularly in Washermenpet district more cases were registered and more number of accused were arrested during the seizure of ganja and tablets in 2021 and 2022.
City Police officials said that they have adopted a multi-pronged strategy to tackle thedrug menace through supply and demand reduction.
"To reduce the supply, focus was made on enforcement through source identification and tracking down the entire network and financial investigation on seizure of commercial quantity of drugs," a police officer said adding that from 2022, they have started freezing bank accounts of drug offenders.
In 2021, freezing of account was nil. In 2022, 776 bank accounts of NDPS accused involved in 823 cases and Rs 23.78 lakh were frozen.
Apart from these measures, police also effected strict preventive detention (goondas act) against drug offengers.
In 2021, 19 drug offenders were detained under the Goondas Act, which has been increased to 63 in 2022.
With police tightening the noose on ganja peddlers and ganja sales, a study on the consumption pattern of narcotics disclosed the emerging trend of migration from hardcore drugs to pharmaceutical tablets, which the police called the Balloon effect.
During 2021, 14 cases were registered against 38 accused during the raid conducted and about 5,949 Nitrovet and other tablets were seized and, whereas in 2022, 29 cases were registered against 72 accused during the raid conducted and about 52,612 other tablets were seized.
City Police also took several proactive measures to arrest drug kingpins and wholesale dealers. On March 15, 2022, Nandakumar (23) of Alandur, Arun Pandian (30) of Kanyakumari and Onuorah Augustine Ngesinechukwu (29 – Nigerian national) were arrested and Methamphetamine (110 grams) was seizedfrom them. Two smugglers from Andhra Pradesh- Yarrabilli Nagasuresh -amp;Rajubabu were arrested for possession of Ganja (112 Kg) at Royapuram, near NRT Bridge in January last year, police said.
Apart from these measures, surprise checks are also being conducted at courier agencies and omni bus stand, police said.