A competent authority under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act on Tuesday issued an order for forfeiture of properties worth over Rs 3 crore owned by drug peddlers. The competent authority, whose office is located in Kolkata, issued the order in relation to a narcotics case in the Malkangiri district of Odisha. The police had earlier seized 1,406 kilograms of cannabis from the accused peddlers.
Anshuman Dwibedi, Sub-Divisional Police Officer, Chitrokonda said that the police apprehended the drug peddlers smuggling cannabis. He said that all involved in the case have been arrested and further investigation revealed the details of properties owned by them. "There was a total of 1,406 kilograms of cannabis seized by police on February 1. There were 13 accused in the case and six of them were arrested," Dwibedi said. Following the investigation, police revealed that the properties acquired illegally by the peddlers was worth Rs. 3.05 crore.
"It includes 5 buildings, 12 bank accounts and 6 vehicles. Properties were seized and a detailed proposal for seizure/forfeiture of the properties was sent to the office of the Competent Authority as per provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act 1985," SDPO Dwibedi informed.
The Competent Authority involved is a quasi-judicial authority under NDPS Act to pass orders for forfeiture of such illegally acquired property.
As illicit cannabis cultivation continues to be a major problem in the state, the Odisha government on Tuesday said that it has now decided to use advanced technology to spot such farms. The government will now use drones, satellite imagery and remote sensing technologies to locate any illegal hemp cultivation happening in the state, an official said on Tuesday.
According to the official, the police and excise department have jointly destroyed 22,217 acres of cultivation of hemp in the state in 2020-21. In comparison, 9,473 acres of fields growing a variety of cannabis were destroyed in 2018-19. The two departments have now decided to intensify enforcement activity to stop hemp farming in the state. The officials were also ordered by the government to check records of landowners undertaking hemp cultivation.