390 kg of marijuana worth Rs 32 lakh seized, trader arrested

In a major seizure of contraband drugs, the anti-narcotics cell of Pune police seized 390 kg of marijuana balls worth Rs 32 lakh. The police have arrested a trader from Pimpri in this connection. The police said the drugs were smuggled from Madhya Pradesh and were being sold in small packets at small stalls, paan shops that have labourers, college students and IT professionals as customers.

Working on tip off from an informants, Lalchand Arjundas Ramnani (51), a trader from Pimpri Camp was identified as a suspect. A trap was laid by a team led by inspector Sunil Tambe and assistant inspector Vinod Patil. The police raided a room in a dharmashala on River Road in Pimpri and seized marijuana balls packed in packets with different brand names.

"They are selling it at paan shops, small tea stalls. It is known among traders as Tarang. Based on the information that we have received from the arrested suspect, these balls are little bigger than a medicinal capsule and are being sold at Rs 20 each. We now know that it has a customer base among labourers, college students and IT professionals," said Inspector Tambe.

He said, "Different brands of tarang have different flavours and varied ingredients. We suspect some of its brands have opium content also. We have sent all the samples to the forensic sciences laboratory for chemical analysis."

API Vinod Patil said, "The suspect has told us that the contraband was smuggled to Pune from MP. We have launched a search operation for Ramnani's accomplices. He is one of the important dealers of this type of contraband in the city." He has been booked under sections of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act and remanded to police custody for six days. It is the biggest seizure till date. Since January 2012, the police have made 20 seizures of Tarang.

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