The state government informed the Legislative Assembly on Friday that narcotics and liquor worth Rs 6413 crore were seized in various parts of Gujarat over the last two years.
During the Assembly’s Question Hour, Minister of State for Home Harsh Sanghavi shared the data while responding to a series of questions from Congress MLAs.
According to the state government’s data, the police seized liquor, both country-made and Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL), worth Rs 212 crore in two years till December 2022.
The data revealed that the seized liquor included IMFL bottles worth Rs 197.56 crore, country-made liquor worth Rs 3.99 crore and beer bottles worth Rs 10.51 crore.
Harsh Sanghvi said that the authorities also seized drugs, such as heroin, charas, opium, cannabis and methamphetamine, worth Rs 6,201 crore from different parts of the state in the same period.
While the majority of criminals associated with this illegal trade had been already caught, nearly 3,700 accused are still at large, he said.
Senior Congress MLA Shailesh Parmar pointed out that those arrested were only small-time criminals and asked the minister how many key conspirators were caught.
The Gujarat police, in coordination with central agencies, had managed to arrest the main culprits in 14 cases of drug seizures, Sanghavi said.
One such case involved the Pandi brothers, who were accused of sending huge quantities of cannabis (ganja) to Gujarat from their home state Odisha.
“The Gujarat police along with their Odisha counterparts seized properties worth crores of rupees belonging to ganja kingpins Pandi brothers in their home state Odisha. The Pandi brothers used to send huge quantities of cannabis to Gujarat from Odisha’s Ganjam district. This police action against drug dealers has become a case study for other states,” the minister said.
The Gujarat police have tightened the security to such an extent that Pakistan-based perpetrators are unable to find peddlers to smuggle drugs into India by sea route, he said.
“Karachi-based drug lord Haji Salim sends narcotics across Asia through his network. Since we have tightened our security, Salim was forced to send his own son to smuggle drugs here because no peddler was ready to do the job,” Sanghavi said.