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From US to Andhra via Foreign Post; 1.7kg cannabis worth 9 lakhs seized from sleeping bags

At a time when liquor shops across India are closed and tipplers are trying different ways an means to get a high, a parcel containing foreign Cannabis from the US was to reach an individual in Annavaram, East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. However, shortly after making its way to the Foreign Post Office in Chennai, the contraband was seized by Customs authorities. 

From US to Andhra via Foreign Post; 1.7kg cannabis worth 9 lakhs seized from sleeping bags

At a time when liquor shops across India are closed and tipplers are trying different ways an means to get a high, a parcel containing foreign Cannabis from the US was to reach an individual in Annavaram, East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. However, shortly after making its way to the Foreign Post Office in Chennai, the contraband was seized by Customs authorities. 

The consignor had declared the parcel to contain “sleeping bags and hand vacuum” but oil further examination the parcel revealed two sleeping bags and a branded carton of a hand vacuum cleaner. On opening the red sleeping bags, two plastic bags containing greenish dried flower pods were found concealed in each bag. In the carton box there was no vacuum cleaner but four plastic bags containing greenish dried flower pods were found concealed inside. On opening the 8 bags, a strong ‘weedy’ smell similar to Cannabis of high quality was noticed. 

The contraband was identified as cannabis of foreign origin, weighing 1.7kg, valued at Rs. 9 lakhs. It was seized under the NDPS Act, 1985. This seizure is being regarding as a very rare one at a time when International and domestic flights are suspended, due to a nationwide lockdown that is in place since March 25th. 

“This was a registered parcel and the Consignor was a company and the consignee was an individual in Andhra Pradesh. This is our first seizure during the lockdown period. Contraband does get caught at the Foreign post office, we had made seizures of lethal drugs in the recent past as well. But in this case the drug is coming from the USA, where it is legalized in many states. Now is also a time when there are less seizures of banned substances as there is comparatively limited cargo coming in, of which most are PPEs, life-saving medicines and medical goods” Rajan Chaudhary, Commissioner of Customs Chennai Airport told WION. 

The parcel was consigned from Vancouver city in Washington State of USA. The use of Cannabis for recreational purpose is legal in eleven states of USA including Washington. Cannabis is a psychotropic substance commonly known as weed, herb, grass, ganja, containing psychoactive chemical delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol(THC). On smoking THC stimulates the brain and it responds to pleasure and unleashes dopamine which gives a euphoric, relaxed feeling.

In view of suspension of functioning of courts for routine cases during the lockdown period and according to the instructions laid down by the City Civil Court, a petition for submission of case property and samples for analytical examination have been mailed to the designated court.

As a follow up action, searches were got carried out at the address of the consignee by jurisdictional Customs in Andhra Pradesh and further action is being taken to nab the persons involved.

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