Monday, November 28, 2022

Suspected Burmese Black Pepper worth Rs 1 Cr seized in Khatkhati

The Assam Police seized 13,500 kg of Burmese black pepper worth Rs 1 crore from a truck at Khatkhati check gate in Karbi Anglong district bordering Nagaland on Sunday night.
The truck bearing registration number RJ 19GC 3301 was intercepted by a police team led by Khatkhati OC SI Raju Dowarah.
“The consignment was brought from Dimapur and was supposed to be delivered at Byrnihat in Meghalaya from where it would be further smuggled to North India,” said a senior police officer.
“During search, 300 bags containing suspected Burmese Black Pepper weighing 13,500 kg were recovered concealed under 70 rice bags of 50 kg each inside the truck.” the official said.
The driver identified as Durgesh Kumar of Rajasthan could not produce any valid documents for carrying the consignment of Black Pepper in the truck and has been taken into custody by police.
Based on the statement of the driver, the police picked up two other co-accused identified as Nirmaljeet Singh alias Pintu from Dimapur in Nagaland and Bubul Das alias Bishal from Sarupathar in Golaghat district.
Pintu Singh, although a permanent resident of Rajasthan is currently settled in Dimapur and was earlier involved in the smuggling of Arunachal sale liquor into Nagaland via Khatkhati in Assam. Bubul Das was also earlier involved in the smuggling of Burmese Teak through Assam from Nagaland. Police also seized Rs 3.5 lakh in cash from Bubul Das.
As follow-up action, a separate police team conducted a raid at a godown in Byrnihat in Meghalaya and recovered another 100 of bags of Black Pepper and 50 bags of Areca Nut. None has so far been arrested from Meghalaya in this connection.
On May 27, this year, the Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Cooperative (CAMPCO) Ltd (Mangaluru) has urged the Ministry of External Affairs to restrict the movement of Arecanut and Pepper at Integrated Check Post (ICP) at Moreh in Manipur along the India-Myanmar border.
In a letter, the cooperative society said Indian pepper production meets the domestic requirements. In such a situation, the necessity for importing pepper does not arise at all.
“In the light of these facts, we request your good offices to restrict the movement of Arecanut and Pepper through the gates of Manipur on the India-Myanmar border and, accordingly, direct the authorities concerned to curb these commodities from entering the domestic market,” the cooperative society said in the letter.

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